Bihar's COVID-tracking app may now be implemented nationally after PM Modi shows interest 

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had launched the HIT COVID App on Monday to reach out to Coronavirus patients undergoing treatment for the deadly disease in home isolation
Pic: Twitter
Pic: Twitter

An innovative Home Isolation Tracking (HIT) App developed by the Bihar government to keep an eye on the condition of COVID patients recuperating at their residence has drawn special praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He came to know about the HIT App while talking to Patna district magistrate Chandrasekhar Singh during an interaction with officials of several districts of nine states on Tuesday.

Impressed with the concept, the Prime Minister ordered to send its details to the union health ministry for its utilisation across the country, Singh said. "The health department has sent one-page detail of the HIT COVID App to the union health ministry," Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Pratyaya Amrit said on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had launched the HIT COVID App on Monday to reach out to Coronavirus patients undergoing treatment for the deadly disease in home isolation. As part of the project, health workers at the grassroot level visit patients in home isolation to record their temperature and oxygen level on a daily basis and the data is fed to the App. Based on the information, necessary action is taken by the health department for the ailing persons.

The HIT App has been developed by the Bihar State Electronics Development Corporation (BELTRON) under the guidance of the health department. Amrit said the app was initially launched in five districts on a trial basis and seeing its success, it has been expanded across the state. A nodal officer has been appointed in every district, where a special team has been constituted for better upkeep of home quarantined sufferers.

As part of the exercise, 80,000 ASHA or Auxiliary Nurse Midwife workers and 15,000 rural health workers trained by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) have been engaged for a door-to-door survey of COVID patients in home isolation, the additional chief secretary added. 

Amrit said the scheme helped in identifying two critically ill COVID patients in Supaul district, who were provided timely medicare against the virus. "The App is a big help in fighting the COVID spread in rural areas of Bihar for more effective day-to-day monitoring of COVID patients," Amrit said.

About the rural health workers roped in as foot soldiers in the fight against the pandemic, NIOS Director Sanjay Kumar Sinha stated over phone from Delhi that they have been given a crash course for one year by MBBS doctors. Those enrolled in the one-year course were imparted classes in the treatment of basic health problems in Primary Health Centres, he said.

Sinha said the project was launched in Bihar in 2015 when he was posted as Regional Director of NIOS at Patna. Over 15,000 in Bihar have cleared the examination conducted by the NIOS and they have been given a certificate of community health worker, he said. Sinha, however, said that these community health workers are strictly directed to provide basic medical assistance to the needy only and help them reach a hospital if the problem is serious.

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