The Punjab government has launched a mobile application aimed at undertaking house to house surveillance to contain the spread of COVID-19. The app, ‘Ghar ghar nigrani’, was launched by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh through video conference, an official release said.
The chief minister described the health department’s initiative, encompassing ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers and community volunteers, as a tool for early detection and testing of coronavirus. Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Anurag Agarwal, said the entire rural and urban population of Punjab above 30 years of age shall be surveyed as part of the drive, which will also cover persons below the age of 30 having co-morbidity or influenza-like illness.
The survey would capture full medical conditions of a person for the previous one week and complete details of his/her co-morbidity, Agarwal said, adding that this would help the state develop an extremely important database to further plan its COVID containment strategy and make targeted interventions for the community. According to Special Secretary, health-cum-testing in charge for COVID, Isha Kalia, the user-friendly app had been developed and designed in-house by the health department, and field tested in Patiala and Mansa.
Around 20,628 persons were surveyed, of whom 9,045 were found to be asymptomatic and 1,583 with symptoms like cough, fever, sore throat, breathlessness etc. The survey is currently underway in 518 villages and 47 urban wards. Around 4.88 per cent of the people surveyed have been found to be hypertensive, 2.23 percent diabetic, 0.14 percent having kidney disease, 0.64 percent with heart disease, 0.13 percent having TB and 0.13 percent having cancer. The ASHA workers and community volunteers will be paid Rs 4 per head incentive/honorarium for every person surveyed and shall cover 500 households. A supervisor will oversee the work of ASHA and community volunteers, and would be engaged on a voluntary basis for Rs 5,000 per month.