Deserted view of the Kargil Chowk in Patna.(Santosh Kumar / Hindustan Times)
Deserted view of the Kargil Chowk in Patna.(Santosh Kumar / Hindustan Times)

Bihar designs mobile app, uses it to track Covid-19 suspects in home quarantine

Bihar has so far reported 11 cases of coronavirus, which includes one death. Nearly 2,376 people, most with international travel history, have been enrolled for observation since January 26, when the state notified its first Covid-19 suspect.
Hindustan Times, Patna | By Ruchir Kumar
UPDATED ON MAR 29, 2020 11:34 PM IST

The Bihar government has designed a mobile application to track Covid-19 suspects who are either under home quarantine or in isolation.

Bihar has so far reported 11 cases of coronavirus, which includes one death. Nearly 2,376 people, most with international travel history, have been enrolled for observation since January 26, when the state notified its first Covid-19 suspect.

The disaster management department (DMD), which is assisting the state health department in the task, has developed a mobile app for real-time tracking and monitoring of those under observation.

“Based on data sourced from other government departments, we have done a quick survey to prepare a management information system (MIS) of all those who have travelled from outside, be it international or domestic travel, to any district, block, panchayat or village. On the basis of travellers’ information, their mobile number, name and address, and their mode of transport, we have prepared an e-dashboard and shared relevant information with our field staff,” Bihar’s DMD principal secretary Pratyaya Amrit said.

“We have involved Anganwadi sevikas, panchayat sevaks and accredited social health activists (ASHAs) to go and physically check on a daily basis every individual who has been advised quarantine and update their medical condition on the app provided to them either on their mobile phone or tablets provided to them. Every such worker has been assigned 10 houses per day so that they do their job sincerely,” he added.

The community workers are also stamping on the reverse side of an individual’s palm indicating the period of quarantine.

The DMD has also given them posters, in red colour, to affix on the front wall of every house having a member who has been quarantined. The poster would bear the name of the person quarantined, address, date till which she/he has been quarantined and the total number of members in the house. This has to be filled by the community worker before pasting it, added Amrit.

Some house-owners have already begun tearing these posters, fearing social ostracisation.

Bihar has taken the 21-day lockdown from March 25 to April 14 and compliance of home quarantine directives very seriously.

Darbhanga senior superintendent of police (SSP) Babu Ram has ordered lodging of FIR against one person found to be violating the home quarantine instructions when he inspected seven such households at Motipur village under Bahera police station area on Friday. Efforts to reach Ram proved futile as he did not respond to phone calls or text messages.

On March 11, the government ordered that all travellers from seven countries, including Italy, Iran, China, Spain, France, Germany and the Republic of Korea would have to be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This order came into effect for all flights that took off after March 13.

India stopped all international commercial passenger aircraft from March 22 and shut operation of its domestic commercial airlines from March 25.

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