Several organisations and government agencies in India are quietly fast-tracking their innovations to put up the massive infrastructure required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding the disturbing doomsday prophecies made by a section of the media vis-a-vis the impact of novel coronavirus on India.
While the Centre has innovated many things including converting railway bogies into makeshift COVID-19 hospitals, the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru and many other organisations are working round-the-clock to come out with the prototype of ventilators required for critical patients if in case pandemic spreads like the way it swamped Italy or China or Spain.
Karnataka too made unique experiments in the fight against COVID-19. The state has pioneered in launching an online training programme for doctors in treating COVID-19 cases besides developing an app to track the suspected who are in home quarantine.
Both are unique and first of its kind in the country. While the online training concept was the brainchild of Karnataka medical education minister K Sudhakar, the mobile app has been developed and rolled out by the senior IAS officer Munish Moudgil and his team.
After overcoming minor glitches, the app was launched on Wednesday and the government has made it mandatory to use this app and send pictures of suspected every hour. The medical education minister warned that if the suspected failed to send selfies every hour, they would be forcefully shifted to hospitals.
This Quarantine Watch app is available on Android and iPhone and all the suspected cases will have to download and start sending selfies after filling up the mandatory personal details. Since it is linked to GPS, the patients could be tracked easily.
“At the backend, the system itself will identify selfies with good resolution. Both the computer and District Photo Verification Teams will decide the percentage of selfies good or bad. If in case a home quarantined person fails to send selfies or the selfies sent were rejected, then he or she will be treated or called as defaulter whom the authorities may think of shifting him or her to hospitals dedicated to treating the disease,” said Moudgil.
“In Karnataka, we had 35,000 people in home quarantine but 32,000 of them have completed the 14-day mandatory period. Now 3,000 are left. On the first day, 350 people sent selfies. We have sent SMSs and are following up with the rest,” Moudgil said. Arunachal Pradesh has taken the app while Maharashtra has shown interest in taking this app.
Moudgil is originally an IIT product who joined the civil services in the 90s. In his earlier stint as commissioner of survey and settlements, he revolutionised the survey department by introducing several tech measures. One of them includes a land-identification app called Dishaank. A person, on downloading the app, can use it to find out the title owners of a certain plot of land.
Online training for doctors
The Karnataka government has launched India’s first online training programme for doctors besides developing COVID-19 treatment protocols for doctors.
Through this, more than 25,000 doctors and thousands of healthcare professionals will be trained and kept them ready to treat the novel coronavirus. The 20-page treatment protocol, developed by a team of experts, will be a boon for doctors across India equipping them with guidelines for timely, effective, and safe supportive management of patients with COVID 19.
The entire programme was conceived by state Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar.
Explaining the SoPs developed by team experts, Sudhakar said, “The online course will take one and a half to two hours. Besides the treatment part, we explained in detail about clinical management, specimen collection and transport, infection control and supportive therapy to be given to COVID-19 patients. We have launched the programme on Monday and till now around 1,000 doctors have been trained. We are putting it on YouTube so that doctors can access it for free.”
Updated Date: Apr 03, 2020 10:54:29 IST