MUMBAI: The BMC is in the process of procuring 600 tablet PCs for Covid-19 patients admitted at civic hospitals, jumbo facilities and Covid care centres. The initiative is aimed at helping patients connect with families via video chat. The civic body will spend Rs 1.3 crore phase-wise to purchase the tablets.
Several patients at such facilities don’t have smartphones. Civic staff will help such patients use the tablets.
Covid patients not just battle the infection but also depression and frustration due to the absence of family around, said officials, adding the tablets will help them feel more at ease and reduce their frustration and stress. Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said, “Such chats help reduce stress. We have used gadgets for such chats in a pilot project earlier and after its success decided to procure more for all our hospitals in a phase-wise manner according to the need. Ward boys will facilitate communication between patients and their family members through these gadgets.”
The gadgets will be in the custody of the hospitals and care centres. The health staff at these facilities will provide these to the patients based on their request. In case of multiple requests at the same time, hospital staff will set a timetable for the use of the gadgets.
An official said, “A Covid patient lives in isolation in a hospital with not much communication with others. Even the health staff visits them after covering themselves with personal protection equipment kits. At times the patients feel very low. So it is good to connect them with their family and relatives through video chat to reduce their frustration and stress.”

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