TC Bureau Chandigarh: A unique in-built feature in the COVA app is helping the people of Punjab stay safe, by allowing them to check distance from the nearest COVID-19 patient and also alerting the district administration if a quarantined patient or suspect moves beyond 100 meter of her/his location. While the feature is helping the authorities enforce quarantine restrictions, it is also enabling the people of the state to keep themselves and their family members and friends safe through a self-control mechanism.
By geotagging the positive patients, the app helps the district administration trace locations that the positive individual has visited during the last few days. If the Bluetooth is switched on for mobile phones with COVA, the app will alert the citizen on coming in the Bluetooth range of a person suspected or positive with COVID-19.
This also helps the Health Department and the district administration trace the contact history of positive patients. For the app to be effective, the GPS location and Bluetooth need to be switched on for the mobile phones of the patients, said Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Governance Reforms and Public Grievances.
Further, the COVA dashboard enables the district administration to track the quarantined individuals and monitor their movements away from their base location. These mobile numbers can also be used by the telcom providers to track movement if the location or Bluetooth is disabled.
The telcom companies send hourly reports to the Department of Health on breaches in each district. Notably, he COVA app has had more than 10 lakh downloads till now, and is enabling the citizens as well as the government officials to effectively execute lockdown and social distancing norms, while making available access to essentials and other important services.