The app 'Upchar', an initiative of Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh with support from the Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS), was launched by District Magistrate Suhas L Y, Police Commissioner Alok Singh and Yamuna Authority CEO Arun Vir Singh. According to officials, the bilingual Android app, which has been developed by Nashik-based Gunvant Battase, will be available on Google Play Store in a day or two while work is underway for its iOS version as well.
''During the peak of the second wave of the pandemic, we could not get locals admitted to hospitals. There were many people who could have got treated at their homes only but could not because of lack of consultation from doctors,'' MLA Singh said.
While explaining the features of the app, Battase said anybody in Gautam Buddh Nagar can register themselves on the app using their mobile number followed by a one-time password (OTP).
''The OTP is sought to ensure that the person has not given a fake mobile number,'' he added.
The app provides options to users to list their symptoms to doctors, who can send them prescriptions through the app itself and a case history of the patient will also be maintained on it for future references, he said.
The app, available in Hindi and English, is aimed at helping the rural people but its benefit is not limited only to them, MLA Singh said.
GIMS Director Brig (retired) Dr Rakesh Gupta said on one hand the pandemic has caused trouble to everyone but on the other it has been useful too as technology improved leaps and bounds during the year.
''We (GIMS) will provide all support, like doctors for consultation, and try to expand it further. We can also make a separate cell for Covid patients,'' he said.
Reviewing the features of the 'Upchar' app, DM Suhas L Y suggested that since the app is chiefly aimed at rural residents, it could be installed on phones of ASHA and Aanganwadi workers who are most well- connected to village households.
''The app could also be integrated with the district's Integrated Covid Control and Command Centre (ICCC), which has been handling Covid-related phone calls since the onset of the pandemic, to better help callers,'' he said.
The DM added that during the peak of the pandemic, the ICCC helpline handled an average 10,000 distress calls daily but the number has now come down to 600 to 800 a day.
Police Commissioner Alok Singh said, ''The Covid surveillance cells of the district can also be integrated with the app so that arrival of people from outside to villages could be tracked and they can be monitored for any symptoms of coronavirus for timely intervention.''