An update by the World Health Organisation shows over 144 million Covid cases till April 23, and over three million deaths worldwide. WHO is bothered, and we the Rotary fraternity must be bothered too and ensure that leaders at the local level take action to save millions of people.
Rotarians should ensure that shortcomings in the healthcare system should not kill people. In this hour of national and global emergency, Rotarians have to show that they care. Rotary cannot allow patients to sign their own death warrants due to lack of vaccines, oxygen, beds and other medical facilities. We cannot waste time blaming the administration for fatal errors and not having a contingency plan in place for the second wave. Our misplaced sense of pride in containing the first wave probably made us complacent.
Rotary has to provide the emergency help so that people will have a chance to survive. We Rotarians have shown that everything is possible. When we get rid of Covid with our collective effort, we can celebrate the fact that this victory belongs collectively to all of us.
Rotary in India is actively promoting Covid vaccination in various districts. Rotary clubs are zealously organising vaccination camps and assisting in setting up vaccination centres. The Government of Haryana has invited Rotary India’s Covid Task Force to help it in the mass vaccination programme. I congratulate Zonal Coordinator PDG T K Ruby (RID 3080) for arranging this partnership.
The Tamil Nadu government has invited Rotary to assist in its Covid vaccination drive. RC Madras, led by president Kapil Chitale, will provide two fully-insulated AC vans for transporting vaccines. Doctor volunteers will be made available at the centres and arrangements are being made to store vaccines.
Rotary clubs have set up over 50 Covid vaccination centres in Kerala and each day at least one centre is being added to the tally. The vaccines and vaccinators are provided by the state government. SBI is equipping the centres with computers and operators, and Rotary is providing infrastructure and the facilities needed to run the centres. Almost 50,000 free Covid vaccines have been given through Rotary vaccination centres and camps across the state.
The Rajasthan government has signed an MoU to work with Rotary as its official partner. We are aiming to set up at least 1,500 vaccination centres across Gujarat and in Uttar Pradesh all vaccination centres have a selfie point installed by Rotary.
In Maharashtra oxygen concentration machines are provided in some hospitals and more such machines will be made available. Rotary clubs have put up information centres at various locations where people can know how to register and where to get vaccinated. Senior citizens are provided special assistance. In Mumbai, following a request from the municipal corporation to maintain the cold chain at the centres, 10 medical refrigerators have been provided and more will be donated in next few days.
Posters with messages from Rotary leaders in support of vaccination are being spread by Rotarians through social media.
Every member of our team is totally committed and we are fortunate to have committed district leaders who understand the seriousness of the cause and are ready to support.
The writer is a past Rotary International director and chairman, Rotary India’s Covid Task Force.