Aarogya Setu-ITIHAS coupled system to be used to boost surveillance, contact tracing

New Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) Authorities have planned to use Aarogya Setu app coupled with an IT-driven tool to boost surveillance and contact tracing in COVID-affected areas in Delhi and take preemptive action to check possible new hotspots.

This is part of the new COVID-19 response plan prepared by Delhi government health department, in line with the recommendations from the Union Health Ministry.

The purpose is to boost surveillance of positive cases and improve contact tracing, officials said.

As per the orders issued by the Directorate General of Health Services in Delhi on Monday, all the chief district medical officers and surveillance officers of all the districts have received a revised response plan which has a provision for use of Aarogya Setu coupled with ITIHAS system for cluster projection.

“As per the recommendation of the committee (headed by NITI Aayog member V K Paul), Aarogya Setu app coupled with ITIHAS system anchored by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, is capable of tracking the movement of the cases and their contacts. The system is capable of projecting a cluster development in 300 metre geography,” according to the order.

The directions point out that the surveillance system will be guided by an IT-driven tool at district and state-level hubs.

Adoption of Arogya Setu app will be promoted effectively, it said.

'An identified team of epidemiologist, district surveillance officer, and IT personnel, at the district level shall be trained in coordination with the NCDC to utilise the Aarogya Setu app and ITIHAS system for cluster projection,' the order said.

Delhi recorded 3788 fresh coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the tally in the city to over 70,000-mark, while the death toll from the disease climbed to 2365, authorities said.

Senior officials said, MeITy developed ITIHAS to track history of areas visited by people who were using Aarogya Setu and later found infected with the novel coronavirus. An official said that the project was started in Gujarat and some other states to predict zones that might turn into hotspots based on travel history of the patient.  The official said that the Health Ministry has asked other states to look at ITIHAS data and use it for strict monitoring of COVID-19.

'We have seen that ITIHAS data has accurately predicted COVID hotspots. States are being asked to strictly monitor areas where ITIHAS predicts possibility of spread of coronavirus infection,' the MeITy official said. PTI KND PRS RT