AAP volunteers designated as “Oximitras” helping Goans to check their oxygen levels. These oximitras armed with a pulse oximeter are going door-to-door to check oxygen saturation level of Goans after making sure all precautionary steps are taken. If their oxygen level is low they will immediately advice them to get admitted to a hospital. AAP has trained over 400 volunteers for the implementation of this campaign across Goa. Volunteers are protected with necessary gear like face shield, mask, hand gloves and sanitizers along…

By Our Special Correspondent

ALMOST six months down the road the government of Goa may or may not have fine-tuned Covid-19 pandemic management! Witness how it is spiraling out of control with 500 to 700 new cases registering daily and mortality rate climbing insidiously higher by the day. Even as the call has gone out to restore life on a new normal business footing and with the tourism season opening up. A concerned Aam Aadmi party has decided to help by reaching out to Goans at home who may be combating the deadly contagion in their own way.
With physical distancing and a masks in place press conference at the International Centre Goa on September 9, 2020, AAP speakers said that they have banded together as 350 to 400 volunteers from Delhi and Goa and they are doing house-to-house visits in various places in Goa to promote Covid-19 education as well as carry out voluntary oxygen level tests. Nobody is being coerced into doing the oxygen test and in their experience so far, “while are cautious and stay away many do queue up for the oxygen test.” Towards this end they have a stock of oximeters and the “oximitras” are those volunteers who have trained to check oxygen levels in potential Covid-19 patients.
These Oximitras have already set the campaign rolling in Calangute, Saligao and the market place in Panaji, as also other vulnerable areas, according to a spokesperson to date “We have already helped eight people testing with with high oxygen levels to get themselves checked for Covid-19…” While AAP volunteers are not actively engaged in facilitating treatment they are equipped to help out with information and advice. This is all they can do to hopefully make a difference for the better for a patient at risk from the infection.
According to AAP convenor Elvis Gomes the ongoing campaign is just to primarily promote better awareness about the infection which has been spiraling out of control in Goa after it turned from Green to Red zone, their volunteers are working along the system put into place in Delhi to tackle the pandemic on a war footing and the results are there for all to see. AAP’s goal is to only help and augment whatever the government is already doing towards easing a critical Covid-19 situation in Goa.
Everything may look normal on the surface, he said, but the actual number of cases are higher and mortality rates too are growing. Many patients being quarantined at home don’t quite know how to handle treatment and towards this end IMA doctors on the official list designated are referred to by both their volunteers for any further advice and guidance for anyone in trouble with the infection. He commented that it is all very well for VIPs who may seek treatment in private hospitals, but the ordinary common patient cannot afford such high cost treatment and have to depend on government facilities for best chances in recovery.
Reviewing reports of as much as “83% cases being suppressed” and with 500 to 700 cases registering daily, clearly aam aadmi Goans can do with a helping hand. It may be remembered that plasma therapy was first implemented in Delhi and from there it is now being recommended the country over. AAP’s only appeal to the government of Goa is to be inclusive and open to positive criticism of Covid-19 management which is coming from several quarters in Goa and not least of all from patients who recovered to recount varied experiences good, bad or ugly.
As far as the AAP campaign is concerned their volunteers have been given safety precautions to observe as by and large they will be doing only door-to-door visits with oximeters to test, educate and brief Goans on how to tackle the infection if symptoms arise in their home; at the very least they should not suffer for want of information or unwarranted stigmatizing. Speakers at the AAP function also included Rahul Mhambrey, Surel Tilve and Sunil Shignapurkar.

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