In an initiative aimed at checking the community spread of Covid-19, Punjab Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, has launched a mobile based application (App) – ‘Ghar Ghar Nigrani’ – to undertake house to house surveillance in the state in an ongoing process, till the elimination of the pandemic.
Launching the App through video conference, the CM described the health department initiative, encompassing ASHA workers or community volunteers, as a tool for early detection and testing of the Coronavirus, and preventing its community spread.
Additional chief secretary (health) Anurag Agarwal said that the entire rural and urban population of Punjab above 30 years of age will be surveyed as part of the drive, which will also cover persons below the age of 30 having co-morbidity, influenza like illness or severe acute respiratory illness.
This would not be a one-time activity but an ongoing process till the containment of Covid-19, said Agarwal.
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-19 containment strategy and make targeted interventions for the community. The special secretary, health-cum-testing incharge Covid-19, Isha Kalia, the user-friendly app had been developed and designed in-house by the health department, and had been field tested in Patiala and Mansa.
Around 20,628 persons were surveyed, of whom 9045 were found to be asymptomatic and 1583 with symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat and breathlessness etc.
The survey is currently under way in 518 villages and 47 urban wards. Around 4.88 per cent persons have been found to be hypertensive, 2.23 per cent diabetic, 0.14 per cent having kidney disease, 0.64 per cent with heart disease, 0.13 per cent having TB and 0.13 percent having Cancer.
The ASHA workers will be paid Rs Four per head incentive for every person surveyed and shall cover 500 households. A certificate of appreciation will be issued by the Department to each volunteer as recognition of her contribution.