Four institutions namely – State Health Department of Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency, IIT Madras and BSNL came together and have built an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) which was launched in Chennai on Thursday. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Union Minister for Communication, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the facility through videoconferencing.
The Chief Minister announced this as another step towards controlling the pandemic. The press release briefing about the facility said that anyone can give a missed call to 9499912345. The system would then call back to ask simple questions. Based on the responses, it would give appropriate advice on COVID-19. People can provide information about their health, whether they have COVID-19 symptoms and other conditions like diabetes, hypertention, etc. It said that the IVRS facility does not an internet connection and allows people to converse in their mother tongue.
Upon analysing the information given by the caller and analysing their place of residence, the system would facilitate transfer of information for further action. The district emergency control room would be alerted which would then step in to provide action like sending ambulance. The system would categorize the callers as low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk patients. To those in the low-risk category advice on washing hands, social distancing and maintaining hygiene would be given and for the medium-risk category, the district control emergency centre would provide required medical assistance. For high-risk persons, disease prevention and control measures would be carried out through the control room.