Amidst the sharp spike in COVID-19 cases in Guwahati, the Assam Government had launched 31 COVID Counseling Centers (CCC) in every ward of Guwahati in June. These counseling centers were essentially envisaged as mental health facilitating centres as the pandemic is unleashing a wave of anxiety and paranoia in society. According to mental health experts, people with pre-existing conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, and paranoia in particular can be severely impacted.
Another agenda of launching the COVID Counseling Centers was to combat the rising curve of COVID-19 cases in Guwahati. These centers also facilitate testing and provide factual information and tips to deal with the pandemic. The centers are being utilized for swab collections, medical examinations and test result disseminations etc.
The state health department has emphasized that these counseling centres should closely deal with positive patients and their family members"We have activated all 31 COVID Counselling Centres in every ward of Guwahati Municipal Corporation. I urge citizens of Guwahati to use these facilities and come forward for voluntary testing ", State Health Minister, Himanta Biswa Sharma had tweeted along with the list on 25th June, 2020.
COVID is believed to have some long term side effects. Impaired lung function from SARS-CoV-2 infection can negatively affect body organs like the heart, kidneys and brain, with significant health impacts that may persist. According to medical experts, patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), seen often in severe COVID-19 illness, sometimes develop permanent lung damage or fibrosis as well.
The state health department has emphasized that these counseling centres should closely deal with positive patients and their family members. Initially, the patients are being counseled by a few doctors but later they are connected to volunteers comprising of psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical psychologists.