The New Delhi district has trained 10,000 citizens to check blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter to prepare them to fight COVID-19, according to officials.

“The idea is to make them capable of treating themselves or their family members if they contract the virus. Also, they will be deployed at COVID Care Centres which are set up in banquet halls and other places if required,” District Magistrate (New Delhi) Tanvi Garg told The Hindu.

The volunteers, termed as Swasthya Doot, were trained by doctors from Delhi Medical Council (DMC) at 10 centres across the district.

Vikas Kumar, 22, who lives in Inderpuri JJ Colony, was one of the 10,000 who got the training. “We were taught to check oxygen level, BP and temperature. It will be useful because many people who did not know the basics are now aware,” Mr. Kumar, a final year BA student said.

“From the beginning, many have been volunteering with us for food distribution and supply of essentials and we reached out to them to be volunteers for this,” said Nitin Shakya, Nodal Officer of Swasthya Doot.

The training was held in 10 centres and 20 batches were taught in a day. “Volunteers have been made aware of the district healthcare facilities and were provided contact numbers of officials in case of an emergency. They have also been taught to ask required questions and collect details from the public,” Ms. Garg said.

The district administration is also trying to distribute oximeters to the public through CSR initiative, the District Magistrate said.

“I attended the training last week and learned how to check BP and oxygen level. Now I’m confident and if at some point I have to help the community, I would be able to do so,” said Megha, 35, a freelance writer from Vasant Kunj.

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