The north zone webinar on “Big Data and the Big Fight”, organised by Express Computer in association with SAS, kicked off on July 16, 2020 which saw eminent speakers from various states sharing their experience of tackling the pandemic.
The event is focused on learning the best practices of the participating states and how they are handling Covid-19 pandemic to prevent spread of the deadly disease in their respective states.
The webinar’s first keynote speaker, Rohit Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home, Government of Rajasthan said that technology played a phenomenal role in managing the Covid-19 situation in Rajasthan. He said after facing some initial hiccups, the state is now testing 40,000 samples a day.
Singh said the Rajasthan government collaborated with multiple startups and NGOs, to leverage collaborative efforts and unveiled a smart portal for migrants traveling to Rajasthan.
He said that in Covid journey, WhatsApp proved to be very handy to communicate with people.
“Now is the better time to utilise data analytics, AI & ML for predictions and better treatment. And strengthening of the public services is required for a higher recovery rate,” Singh said.
In his special address Ajoy Sharma, Ex-officio Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Punjab said that blended use of technology has helped the Punjab government in dealing with the Covid-19 situation.
He informed the audience that Punjab government has been actively involved in having collaborations with Indian engineering institutions and foreign ones and used algorithms to understand the disease.
He said that the Punjab government has encouraged more testing in highly infected areas and identified the fertility rate.
Sharma spoke about Cova (Corona Virus Alert) mobile app for e-registration for migrants and how it played a key role in handling the pandemic in the state. He underlined that like anywhere else in the world, coronavirus cases in the rural areas are not that rampant as they are in the urban clusters.
He said it is important to understand the disease well and identify the vulnerable public, and keeping them well aware.
“Telemedicines, WhatsApp helpline and chatbots have helped the government in putting the public to least inconvenience during the lockdown,” Sharma mentioned.
In his presentation, titled “Data to Decisions: Covid-19 Response”, Radhakrishna B, Director, Fraud Management & Security Intelligence Practice, SAS Institute (India) Pvt Ltd, said SAS’s engagements are around situational awareness and medical resource estimation leading to a sustainable healthcare delivery to citizens.
He talked about data management visualisation for capturing basic information from multiple systems.
He said SAS offers simulation analysis forecasting and optimisation to forecast likely outcomes and simulate potential impact of policy choices.
“Our engagements are around situational awareness and medical resource estimation leading to a sustainable healthcare delivery to citizens,” he stated.
In the panel discussion titled, “The role of tech tools to fight against Covid-19 pandemic and the road ahead”, Dr Suman Ratnam, Managing Director, Gujarat Medical Services Corporation, Government of Gujarat said, “We have been actively doing door to door survey and surveillance, and feeding data. Once we have the data in place, we utilise data analytics and mobilise our resources accordingly to tackle the Covid situation.”
Dr Sonia Trikha Khullar, Director, Health Services and Executive Director, State Health Systems Resource Centre, Haryana, Government of Haryana said the Haryana government ensured the clinical workers are well equipped with technology and clinical tools and the state has a recovery rate of 76 per cent.
“We collect the data from the various sources at one place for being edgy in decision making. The Delhi Govt. is highly benefited from the collaborative efforts of universities and healthcare professionals in creating applications,” Santulan Chaubey, Director, Delhi e-Governance Society, Department of IT, Government of NCT of Delhi said.
Radhakrishna B said that it is critical for governments to monitor the various data touch points in order to combat cybersecurity during Covid-19.
Notably, the east, west and south zone webinars of “Big Data and the Big Fight” series would be held on July 23, 31 and August 6, 2020 respectively.