Tamil Nadu uses Aarogya setu IVRS facility, drones to fight COVID-19

Aarogya setu IVRS facility is useful for citizens having feature phones and cannot download the Aarogya setu app. The TNeGA is also supporting the department of health with softwares for management of quarantined people, health related inventory and call centre operations

Express Computer has been doing comprehensive coverage of how state Governments are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic by using digital tools and other technologies. In today’s edition, we cover the state of Tamil Nadu.

The Government of Tamil Nadu has collaborated with the central Government and has launched an Aarogya setu IVRS system for citizens who cannot download the Aarogya setu app, which can be downloaded on smartphones. The facility is targeted for the citizens, who cannot afford smart phones, and thus are unable to download the Aarogya setu app. The toll free number 9499912345 can be called upon by the citizens. The system calls them back and asks simple questions in their mother tongue. The caller then has to press the respective digits depending upon the options given. On the basis of the answer, the caller is categorised in ‘no risk’, ‘low risk’ and ‘high risk’ category. Accordingly a district team is delivered to the citizens, to provide support, which can be in the form of medication, quarantine or hospitalisation.

This system was recently launched by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for IT and telecom also graced the occasion via video conferencing. “The system is designed by the Government of Tamil Nadu jointly with the Department of telecom. We have got over 4000 calls in the last four days,” informs Santosh Misra, CEO, TNeGA. It’s very important to reach the far flung areas, where majority of the people use feature phones. The IVRS system is happy with the response and the system is likely to be replicated pan India.

‘Aarogya Setu IVRS’ is currently available only on smartphones. Now, it is extended for non-smart phones too.

Moreover, Tamil Nadu is using drones to disinfect hospitals. By partnering with a startup based in Chennai – Garuda. 

Like other states, other conventional technologies like trend analysis, GIS systems, hotspot monitoring are also being leveraged.

The Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) is the technology provider for the department of health. “Currently, we have provided softwares for the management of hospital bed and other inventory; quarantine management; call centre operations, where the workflow is designed such that unless the call is not resolved, it remains on the radar of the concerned official. A dashboard having geospatial data is also operational,” says Misra.

This apart, the state emergency operations centre (SEOC) is already in action. Its manned by the revenue department and headed by the commissioner of revenue administration. Over and above, there is a separate health control room and chennai corporation has a separate control room.

When asked about, what’s keeping the department of IT busy, Misra says, “The focus is to provide support to the department of health in the form of providing data, fulfilling software update requests, geospatial datasets for decision making,” The field teams at the district level are actively feeding data, which is aggregated at the state level.

Aarogya setu IVRScorona virusCovid-19Government of Tamil NaduSantosh misraTNeGA
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