CHANDIGARH,23.10.20-Currently, in the wake of the Corona crisis,widespread blame games have been witnessed. For example, the Dainik Bhaskar, dated May, 25,2020 asked, "Kahaan hai Community Medicine Department; people are suffering the damages because of it !?", Our response to the poser is -" Yahaan hai ,Yahi hai, Yahin hai aur rahegaa bhi Community Medicine department!".

Somewhere around May 15, 2020 during a discussion with Dr JS Thakur, professor in our department, I suggested to him that we should bring out a booklet highlighting the contributions of our department in handling the Corona situation in PGIMER as well as in Chandigarh or elsewhere. Accordingly, we started compiling the material for the same. As a matter of coincidence, on the morning of May 24, when I opened the front page of Dainik Bhaskar (Chandigarh Bhaskar), I was taken aback when I read a prominently displayed news item blaming the department of Community Medicine, PGIMER for Corona fiasco in Chandigarh.

Eventually, we have come out with this 2 volume book. It provides a comprehensive overview of various contributions made by ourdepartment, towards containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this book, we have tried to present a model which describes how various domains of our disciplines of public health, community medicine, family medicine, epidemiology, health promotion, health management, health economics, nutrition, and environmental management, can collectively get engaged in providing their services in a coordinated manner. This can be replicated by any department of community medicine for playing the role of an effective team member of medical experts for dealing with such a crisis in any medical college.

The book is organized into three sections. The first section (volume I) provides background information about the COVID-19, and various health services available in Chandigarh. Actual quantum of tangible and intangible contribution of the department in corona crisis is much more that what has been described here. The second section (volume II) details the contributions of the department in corona crisis management. Also, some members of the department, as per the philosophy of the discipline, did not want to publicise their contribution, i.e., they believe in selfless service. All the same we value their work and output.The final section examines future challenges likely to be faced by the public health professionals in management of COVID like emergency situations.

Here, it is not out of context to mention that many of the generic health promotion activities, which are being highlighted as the key preventive / supportive strategies for COVID like emergencies,were initiated by our department, Feb. 2019 onwards,i.e., even before the corona crisis unfolded. These include ‘Salaam –Namaste-Sat Sri Akal’ campaign, PGI website upload of patient friendly education materials about women’s health issues (in ‘Public Forum’, under ‘Patient Empowerment’ dropdown menu,available in pdf format since March 2019), mobile phone based teleconsultations, App based clinical care coordination, patients / caregiver counselling as well as referrals through vendors like Jiyyo Innovations. Even the concepts of mobile phone based medical consultation (Dr Surya Bali and myself in 2003-4), telemedicine (Patient information upload as videos on Youtube in 2014-15alsoavailable on PGIMER website); use of Whatsapp ( 2012-13), EKnee school concept( 2019-20) were evolved by our team well before corona crisis.

Leadership by Dr Jagat Ram, Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh has been a constant source of support for our department. We acknowledge his blessings and good wishes for our endeavours.

The editors thank the dedicated team of faculty, junior and senior residents, junior and senior demonstrators, PhD scholars, research staff, and support staff members of our department, constructively contributing to the efforts of PGIMER in managing the corona crisis. We have a special word of appreciation for Dr Tanvi Kiran, Dr Kapil Goel, and Dr B.K. Padhi who helped in bringing out this book in such a short span of 30 days. Dr Rajbir Kaur , Dr Henna Bano and Dr Divya Sharma also helped in giving final touches to the book, besides designing the cover page by teaming up with Dr Tanvi.

Last but not the least it is hereby clarified that the overall scope and potential of the department is much beyond what has been depicted in the book.

*‘I’ in the Press Release refers to Dr Amarjeet Singh, Prof. & Head, Deptt. of Community Medicine & SPH PGIMER,