On 18 March a helpline was opened to support and coordinate assistance for people over the age of 60 who are at increased risk from COVID-19. Based in St. Petersburg, it has been taking calls from across the country. The initiative was spearheaded by the All-Russia People’s Front with support from the Roscongress Foundation, the Association of Volunteer Centres, the nationwide Medical Volunteers movement, Volunteers for the Constitution, and Rostelecom.
“As the country finds itself in challenging situation, the All-Russia People’s Front and the Roscongress Foundation have demonstrated the importance it places on social responsibility. Over the years, they have built up their organizational, personnel, and technical resources to the point where it is able to supplement the measures taken by the Government of the Russian Federation to combat the virus, while informing the public 24 hours a day, collecting and processing statistical data which is then passed on to the relevant organizations,” said Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov.
Employees from the Roscongress Foundation have been working around the clock to provide various services. These include providing same-day responses to questions on the spread of the virus and preventative measures that can be taken. They also process requests from elderly people and people with limited mobility for volunteers to help with buying and delivering food, medication, and other essential items. In addition, pensioners can call for guidance on purchasing goods and medicines online.
“We realized how vital it was to get this project up and running. Our organization put the entire infrastructure in place, conducted the necessary technical work, and trained specialists – all within a very short timeframe. All services to coordinate the work done by employees are provided free of charge. We are aware that during this difficult period, a gesture like this goes a long way,” said Alexander Stuglev, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of the Roscongress Foundation.
Analysts from the Roscongress Foundation have confirmed that in the 10 days since it was launched, more than 18,000 calls have come in from every region of Russia, and more than 7,000 requests have been registered. “These figures show that we receive over a hundred calls per minute. People most commonly call to make a request for volunteers to help with delivering food, medication, and other essential items. The technical infrastructure we have in place at the Foundation means we have no difficulty handling this volume. The number of calls we get grows each day, in proportion to the number of people who are finding themselves in self-isolation,” said Maria Kiseleva, Head of the Roscongress Foundation’s Delegate Management Directorate and initiator of the project.
The helpline to support and coordinate assistance for people over the age of 60 who are at increased risk from COVID-19 is open 24 hours a day.
Helpline number: +7 (800) 200 3411.