Kolkata, Aug 2 (PTI) The Association of Health Service Doctors, the largest association of doctors in state-run medical facilities in West Bengal, on Sunday called for constituting a team of volunteers in every locality to help people as the COVID-19 situation is taking an "alarming turn".

Association General Secretary Manas Gumta said in a statement that due to "lack of proper planning by the state government on public health issue, the contagion is spreading and has triggered panic among the general public who are clueless about how to get medical treatment, where to get a bed, how to get an ambulance on their own."

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"While the state health department is washing its hands off by suggesting asymptomatic or patients with lower symptoms to stay at home, it is silent on the crucial issue about their getting proper medical treatment and in case their condition worsens who will take them to the right place taking into account the stigma associated with the disease," the statement by the left leaning health service doctors' body said.

It said that many patients staying at home are finding it hard to get an ambulance at the right time.

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The association said, "we call upon everyone to form a team of volunteers in each locality to come to the aid of residents facing medical emergency which can be either due to COVID-19 or even serious non covid cases which are also under serious stress."

The statement said 'ambulance raj' is prevailing in the state alluding to incidents of private ambulances charging steep fare to take COVID-19 patients or suspects to hospitals and urged people to be on guard and be in touch with the local and state administration if required.

Assuring "80 per cent of COVID-19 cases get cured by general treatment," Gumta urged people not to get panicky but take all necessary precautions.

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