With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, it becomes important to digitally manage the data collected at various points in this ecosystem and derive a meaningful information and accordingly take decisions.
Punjab is a front-runner in COVID-19 data management since it had its IT system ready in February 2020. The citizen Mobile App named “COVA Punjab” was formally launched on March 9, 2020 by Karan Avtar Singh, the then Chief Secretary, Punjab. It was developed by Department of Governance Reforms, Punjab headed then the former Additional Chief Secretary and present Chief Secretary, Punjab Vini Mahajan.
The App was developed to provide citizens with various protective care measures, information on prevention products and information of manufacturers in Punjab, Corona Hospitals with Nodal officer’s contact number, FAQs, Chat-bot based services, Check Health Status and information on various government orders. The dashboard of the App provides authentic and real time information on the COVID cases in state. The Connect to Doctor feature allows citizens to speak with doctors for getting basic medical advice.
Chief Secretary, Vini Mahajan shared that this App kept evolving with time and during the curfew time in the state and lockdown throughout the country. Total 50 lakh users have registered on COVA till date and their number is increasing with every passing day.
The upcoming feature of App will allow citizens to check the availability of COVID beds in various government and private hospitals in the state. The recovered patients will also be able to submit requests to donate Plasma and help others recover, she added.
The technical team of Department of Governance Reforms had been working relentlessly and kept introducing the new features in accordance with the requirement of the time. Integration was done with e-Sanjeevani for online OPD in the government hospitals of Punjab where more than 1300 consultations have been done so far.
COVA also offered an option for the migrant workers to register for food, travel to their home towns and for booking train tickets. Confined to homes on account of curfew and lockdown, citizens were shared information on grocery/essential service provider’s information in their area. They were able to book the grocery online as well.
Option to generate Online Curfew Pass was introduced on COVA during the curfew time which was basis approval from respective nodal officers. This has now been changed to self-registration required to be made for entry into Punjab to monitor travellers quarantine protocol.
Citizens can check out their nearest COVID patient/suspect/hotspot using this App. Mission Fateh, the flagship programme of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has seen 7 lakh registrations and the number is still counting. People are very much following the three advices of the campaign i.e. social distancing, regular hand wash and wearing of mask. Due to this, the number of COVID cases in Punjab is far less than other states.
Another beneficial service owed to this App is that with Bluetooth on, it will notify coming into the close contact with any COVID suspect. Citizens can check their health status as the App will suggest them if they are healthy or need to get the COVID-19 test done. It will also share the information on COVID-19 test centers near your place.
Citizens can use the App to report any mass gathering in their locality; report any inter-state traveller in their locality, book appointment before visiting Sewa Kendras or to participate in any Mission Fateh contest.
Besides various services, this platform provides decision-making reports to the administrative departments like Health, Police, District Administration and State COVID Control Room. Real time dashboards are available for patients’ management, quarantine management, health infrastructure, incoming travelers management, contact tracing/tracking etc.
The COVA platform is integrated to Aarogya Setu and ITIHAS platforms also and data is shared to take administrative decisions. The system is helping the state police to manage the travellers’ moving into or transiting through Punjab. More than 11 lakh registrations of travellers have, so far, been made and monitored online.