English | Dzongkha Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Safety-based process of facilitating stranded people delaying the service delivery, 1010

Jan 14, 2021

With some 8,000 people from 20 districts stranded due to the ongoing lockdown in Thimphu, a lot of people are raising concerns on the toll-free number 1010 through social media forums. Many are complaining of a delayed response and a slow service delivery. But as per Public Service Call Centre, with community transmission in Thimphu, there are a lot of processes involved which is delaying the service delivery.

His Majesty’s Secretariat set up the centre on August 18 last year under the name, Help Desk 1010, to attend calls and address various problems the public face during the lockdown.

Attending to a thousand calls every day, the volunteers at the Public Service Call Centre stationed at the NRDCL office in Thimphu continue to receive and attend queries related to stranded calls. Inquiries from stranded people are the most common calls, the team has been receiving.

“The most common one is from the stranded people. A few of them are with their cousins and friends while some of them have come on medical grounds to be operated but could not. Within Thimphu, we were able to facilitate a few of them by getting them an e-pass. But in other districts, it’s quite difficult,” said Karma Selden, a DeSuup volunteer at the centre.

She added that “there are some stranded who do not have a car and they can’t go and they request us to do it faster. And we accordingly try and help them.”

“We understand that everybody is frustrated at this moment but we are trying hard. There might be issues with a few cases, but then we are following up on it,” said Sonam Chophel, another DeSuup.

As per officials from the centre, unlike the first lockdown, the second one is different. With evidence of community transmission in Thimphu, a lot of stringent rules are in place.

“As soon as we get a call, it gets registered and then the case comes to the desk, we call it a management team, it’s actually the team that does all the assessment and see if the cases really need to be approved. And that depends on the criteria that we have, the criteria that we have right now is we prioritize on the death and illness cases and then we have a lot of processes here,” said Namgay Wangchuk, the deputy chief program officer in the Prime Minister’s Office.

“So first the case has to be approved, and then if it’s approved, then we need to send it to the ministry of health for clearances in terms of trying to see if the person is a primary contact, or whether he or she is from a red zone area,” he added.

After this process, the officials issue the e-permit and do validations.

“Finally, if the cases are approved, when everything is done after we get the results from RCDC which takes at least 12 hours right now. After that, then we facilitate their movement towards their dzongkhags,” officials said.

The help desk officials added that under the given circumstances, everyone’s case is an emergency and urgent. But the risk of outbound travellers carrying the virus to the unaffected districts is higher.

“Ensuring to curtail the transmission of the disease within the society, we have a lot of stringent rules in place. And that’s why we need to be cautious and it takes a lot of time in terms of delivering services,” said Namgay Wangchuk.

For now, those who are experiencing hardships during testing times, being patient is the only key for everything to come in place.

Sonam Pem  

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