Interactive Voice Response System planned for COVID-19 patients isolated at home in Puducherry

The system is aimed at linking paramedical staff with patients at home, to provide supportive medical care

August 19, 2020 04:45 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 12:59 pm IST - PUDUCHERRY

With more COVID-19 patients in home isolation than in health care centres, the Puducherry Health Department has decided to put in place more mechanisms, including an Interactive Voice Response System, to link paramedical staff and virus-affected people staying at home.

The number of patients isolated at home has exceeded the cases admitted at hospitals by around 80, a day ago. As on Wednesday, there are 1,621 COVID-19 in-patients and 1,700 at home under isolation.

Director of Health S. Mohan Kumar told The Hindu that patients with no or mild symptoms are advised to stay at home.

“It is not that we are refusing to take in patients. People themselves voluntarily opt for staying at home. Even patients admitted at hospitals with moderate symptoms want to get discharged and stay at home,” he said.

With cases on the rise and more patients likely to stay put at home, the Health Department will soon launch an IVRS facility and expand the mobile health team to cater to the health requirements of COVID-19 patients.

The IVRS facility will be set up at the war room inside the State Emergency Operation Centre on East Coast Road. “We are waiting for approval from the government. It will be manned 24/7 by two doctors and technicians to address clarifications and coordinate with mobile teams. The facility will act as a link between patients and paramedical staff to provide supportive medical care,” he said.

Along with the setting up of the IVRS facility, the department will also increase the number of mobile medical teams.

Currently, the department operates six teams, each comprising a medical officer, nursing officer and auxiliary nurse midwife staff and ambulance driver. The department plans to add six more teams, Mr. Kumar said.

The department would be left with no other option other than to encourage home stays or create additional facilities outside the healthcare sector as cases slowly inch towards the 10,000 mark.

The Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Research Institute and Jawaharlal Institute of Post graduate Medical Education and Research are operating with near full capacity of COVID-19 patients.

The intake of patients in seven private medical colleges has gone up considerably in the last two weeks, with PIMS alone catering to 114 patients. There are 80 patients at AVMC, 81 at MGMC, 86 at SLIMS, 74 at SMVMCH and 64 at SVMC.

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