PUNJAB CM LAUNCHES ‘GHAR GHAR NIGRANI’ APP FOR HOUSE-TO-HOUSE SURVEILLANCE TO CONTAIN COVID

·ENTIRE RURAL & URBAN POPULATION OVER 30 YEARS OF AGE TO BE SURVEYED AS PART OF THE 1ST OF ITS KIND INITIATIVE

UNDER-30 PERSONS WITH CO-MORBID OR FLU LIKE CONDITIONS ALSO TO BE SURVEYED FOR COVID

Chandigarh, June 12: In a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at checking the community spread of Covid, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has launched a mobile based app - ‘Ghar Ghar Nigrani’, to undertake house to house surveillance in the state in an ongoing process, till the elimination of the pandemic.

Launching the app through video conference in the presence of Health & Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, the Chief Minister described the Health Department initiative, encompassing ASHA workers/Community Volunteers, as a tool for early detection and testing of the coronavirus, and preventing its community spread.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Anurag Agarwal said that the entire rural and urban population of Punjab above 30 years of age shall be surveyed as part of the drive, which will also cover persons below the age of 30 having co-morbidity or Influenza like Illness/Severe Acute Respiratory Illness.

This would not be a one-time activity but an ongoing process till the containment of COVID, said Agarwal.

The survey would capture full medical conditions of a person for the previous one week and complete details of his/her co-morbidity, Agarwal said, adding that this would help the state develop an extremely important database to further plan its COVID containment strategy and make targeted interventions for the community. Apart from this, the survey shall give better direction to all state Health programmes by providing ides for MIS based monitoring, he further said.

According to Special Secretary, Health-cum-Testing Incharge COVID, Isha Kalia, the user-friendly app had been developed and designed in-house by the Health Department, and had been field tested in Patiala and Mansa. Around 20,628 persons were surveyed, of whom 9045 were found to be asymptomatic and 1583 with symptoms of cough/fever/sore throat/breathlessness etc.

The survey is currently under way in 518 villages and 47 urban wards. Around 4.88% persons have been found to be hypertensive, 2.23 % diabetic, 0.14 % having kidney disease, 0.64% with Heart Disease, 0.13% having TB and 0.13% having Cancer.

The ASHA worker/community volunteers will be paid Rs. 4 per head incentive/honorarium for every person surveyed and shall cover 500 households. A certificate of appreciation will be issued by the Department to each volunteer as recognition of her contribution.

A supervisor will oversee the work of ASHA/Community Volunteers, and would be engaged on voluntary basis @ Rs 5000 per month. The supervisor shall be directly responsible for quality check of data fed by the volunteers, monitoring their daily progress and ensuring COVID testing of those found to be symptomatic.

Community volunteers will mainly be engaged in areas where ASHA workers are not available, for instance in Urban Areas, or where ASHA is unable to use Mobile App. A community volunteer can be any female over the age of 18, with 10+2 or more as educational qualification and resident of the same village or ward.

Prominent amongst those present at the Video Conference were Cabinet Ministers Brahm Mohindra, Manpreet Singh Badal, OP Soni, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, DGP Dinkar Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Food & Civil Supplies K Siva Prasad and Principal Secretary Medical Education & Research DK Tiwari, Advisor Medical Education Dr KK Talwar, Vice Chancellor BFUHS Dr. Raj Bahadur, Director Food & Civil Supplies Anindita Mitra, Director Health Services Dr Avneet Kaur, Dr. Rajesh Kumar from PGIMER and Dr Rajesh Bhaskar Nodal Officer Covid-19.

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IN BIGGEST EVER ILLICIT LIQUOR HAUL, ROPAR POLICE SEIZE 7 BHATTIS & 200000 KGS OF LAHAN FROM 2 HIMACHAL VILLAGES

10-HOUR-LONG JOINT OPERATION WITH HIMACHAL POLICE LEADS TO ARREST OF 5

Chandigarh, JUNE 12-Cracking down on illicit liquor trading and smuggling from across the border, the Ropar police on Friday arrested five persons and seized the biggest ever cache of illicit liquor, in a massive 10-hour long operation in the tough forest terrain of the Himachal villages of Majri and Dabt.

Seven working stills (daru ki bhattis) and 2 lakh kgs of lahan (kacchi daru) were seized in the operation, carried out from 3 a.m.till 1 p.m., in a dense forest area, full of thorny bushes and seasonal rivulets. The police team had to cut through the dense and thorny undergrowth to get in, said Ropar SSP Swapan Sharma, adding that the operation was carried out jointly with the Himachal police.

As many as 22 police teams comprising seven police personnel each participated in the massive operation. The teams cordoned off the entire area around the villages, located about 2 kms from the Punjab border, said Sharma, adding that the search operation covered a six kilometres long stretch along the state border.

Investigations were in progress to trace further links of the accused across Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, Sharma said.

The seizure came amid state-wide efforts by the Punjab Police, under the directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, to check illicit liquor trading, as well as smuggling of liquor from across the state’s borders.

SSP Sharma said the two Himachal villages, along with the area around them, are notorious for liquor and drug smuggling. The smugglers take advantage of the forest cover and the lack of access in the tough terrain to sneak from Himachal Pradesh into Punjab with their hauls. In the last 5 years, 26 cases in Punjab and 38 cases in Himachal have been registered against people hailing from these areas.