Centre lauds Karnataka’s IT-based model for Covid management

The Centre on Friday lauded Karnataka’s Covid-19 management system, which includes comprehensive contact tracing of cases and physical and phone-based household surveys, and asked other states to adapt these best practices to their local context and replicate them for better management of the pandemic.

Karnataka has widened the definition of ‘Contact’ to include both high- and low-risk contacts, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said in a statement.

The state effectively traced and tracked each case, thereby successfully containing the spread of the epidemic.

The two initiatives taken by the state government are developed as part of the ‘Whole of Government’ approach with the involvement of multi-sectoral agencies and supported by technology-based solutions and interventions.

With contact tracing a critical component to contain the epidemic and ensure that the health infrastructure does not get overwhelmed, over 10,000 well trained field staff carry out specific responsibilities for contact tracing as per the detailed SOP designed by the state which prescribes step-by-step actions to be performed by each designated person.

The Contact Tracing Mobile App and Web Application are being used to overcome the huge quantum of work, genuine forgetfulness of the positive persons and attempts to hide facts due to various reasons.

The state has been able to curtail the spread of infection in thee big corporation areas through compulsory institutional quarantine of the contacts residing in slums or similar areas.

It has also been made mandatory for all travellers coming to Karnataka to register on “Seva Sindhu” portal, which enables the state to follow them for the next few days when they are in home and institutional quarantine.

The ‘Quarantine Watch App’ is used to assist the field workers in enforcing the quarantine.

The state has also formed Mobile Squads for enforcement of the home quarantine through community participation.

In case information is received from the neighbour or public about violation of quarantine by any person, that person is moved to institutional quarantine.

With a view to identifying, protecting and treating high risk population like the elderly, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and those with Influenza-like Illness or Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) on priority, Karnataka has conducted a physical or phone-based household survey.

The survey was carried out during May 2020 and covered 153 lakh households out of total 168 lakh households. Polling Booth Level Officers were engaged to collect necessary information by using a health survey app as well as a web application.

The data collected through the survey was complemented by the information already available with the Health Department for pregnant mothers and TB/HIV/dialysis/cancer patients.

An outreach campaign through Apthamitra tele-consultation helpline (Call No 14410) set up by the State Government, with support from NASSCOM, is being used to reach out to the households at risk through Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) and outbound calls.

The households reporting anyone with Covid-19 like symptoms are triaged by a telemedicine doctor and further advised. Field level health workers (ASHAs) also visit those households to ensure that the required healthcare service is provided.