The government on Sunday launched an interactive technology platform for operating a remote Home Isolation Monitoring and Counselling System, given the rapid rise of COVID 19 cases in the Union Territory.
The facility offered free of cost help to safely manage mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in home isolation which would ease the burden of public hospitals and optimise the healthcare workforce.
Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy who launched the facility at the COVID war room in the State Emergency Operation Centre, appealed to those in home isolation to use the services and extend their maximum cooperation.
T. Arun, secretary, Health and Revenue-cum-Collector, S. Mohan Kumar, Director of Health, Ramesh, Nodal Officer-COVID 19 and other officials were present during the launch.
In a press note, Mr. Arun said the government has partnered with non-profit organisations, Project StepOne and COVID Response, to develop a core of volunteer counsellors who are enrolled to help in the remote monitoring of home-isolated COVID-19 patients across Puducherry.
Under the system, the list of individuals sent for home isolation will be uploaded in the system. On day 1, the patient will get a call from the counsellors who will generally brief them the dos and don’ts and give a generic counselling.
Both the patient and caregivers would be sensitised to the detailed safety measures, from use of masks and discarding it after eight hours or if it gets wet, maintaining physical distancing to monitoring symptoms and frequently cleaning surfaces with hypochloride.
This would be followed by 13 days of IVRS call at 11 a.m. where the home-isolated persons are requested to attend the call and report their symptoms without fail. If the individual misses a call, an automated message goes to his/her mobile number where he/she can call to that particular number and register it.
If the person fails to call, two reminders will be sent at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively. Even after that, if the person fails to attend the call, then the numbers will be transferred to the health team and they will call to enquire about the symptoms.
If during the IVRS call, any symptom gets registered, the system will generate a token which will be shared immediately with the home isolation team to schedule a door-step visit after a first round of tele-counselling.
The patients will also have the facility to call on a number to self-record their symptoms. If there is an emergency, citizens should dial 104 which operates round-the-clock.
The government has asked counsellors across Puducherry to volunteer for the initiative by giving a missed call to 044-46311007 to receive a registration link.
An online training would be provided for the signed-up practitioners. The counsellors behind a telephone could be much more effective in tele-triage and at the same time boost the confidence of patients on their health outcome.