Odisha’s COVID dashboard proves futile for RT-PCR reports

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Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding the tall claims of Odisha Electronics and Information Technology department of hassle free online RT-PCR reports of the suspected COVID patients through COVID dashboard, hundreds of such information seekers find the claims only on paper.

Every day, hundreds of suspected COVID patients and their relatives line up at the COVID test report counter at Capital Hospital here, days after waiting for an SMS or the online reports but getting no response. The person disbursing the report everyday from the counter often faces the wrath of the people and questioned on why they didn’t get the SMS alert or the online report on the COVID dashboard.

“Recently the IT Secretary Manoj Mishra had come on TV channels and boasted about an online system where persons who got tested for the pandemic could avail their reports online on the COVID dashboard sitting at home. But the announcements seem to have remained only on TV itself. We are forced to visit the Capital Hospital for the reports. We didn’t get the report by SMS or online report,” said Ratikant Mohanty, a family member of a suspected COVID patient who had given the sample to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) mobile testing van.

Similar is the fate of hundreds of such patients in the government hospital every day. This reporter spotted several such information seekers in Capital Hospital Sunday who didn’t get the online report or SMS of their COVID report. Sources in the government said that it is due to the lack of coordination of different departments of the Odisha government involved in the process.

According to the norms, all testing labs have been mandated to furnish the RT-PCR report within 48 hours of receiving the sample. Take for example the case of Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar where the samples from BMC testing and Capital Hospital go for testing. Sources at RMRC said that they upload all the testing data to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) section of the health department.

However the data the health department harnesses seems to be not regularly connected with the COVID dashboard. While the Capital Hospital test report delivery system and other systems in the state health department have access to all data of test reports, its integration to the COVID dashboard seems to be floundering or delayed due to lack of coordination and government apathy.

However the tests done in private labs are soon uploaded in the COVID dashboard as the private labs are better in reporting the cases to the authorities. Marred by the whole lethargic approach of the government, patients are now opting private labs for timely results.

Several of the aggrieved citizens in the last one month have approached the BMC, CMC, health department; IT department and other government agencies raising their grievances on social media sites but most of the department have remained mum on the issue, forcing the citizens to visit hospitals during the lockdown and pandemic.

 

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