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Few takers for digital quarantine completion certificates, companies insist on hard copies

This coupled with complaints from users on the slow performance of the website has prompted people to prefer a physical copy.

Published: 09th September 2020 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2020 06:34 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

KOCHI: Though the state government has provided the facility to download the quarantine completion certificate via the Covid-19 Jagratha portal, a large number of people prefer to get the physical copy of the certificate from the respective primary health and community health centres. With many companies insisting on a physically signed copy to access the workplace, people are forced to get their hands on a certificate sealed and signed by the medical officers. 

The recent incident of sexual assault on a woman by a health inspector which took place when she went to collect the Covid-19 negative certificate draws the urgent attention of authorities to take measures and ensure certificates are issued only online with digital signatures. 

According to medical officers, an average of 10 to 25 hard copies of certificates are being issued at PHCs and CHCs every day as a majority of companies and institutions insist on signed copies for rejoining work. This coupled with complaints from users on the slow performance of the website has prompted people to prefer a physical copy.

However, according to officials  of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), the agency managing the site, the portal is giving hassle-free services to the public. “The portal is a one-stop platform for all data relating to Covid-19. There were a few glitches initially but now there are no major issues. We are providing quarantine completion certificate with the signature of the district collector. A dedicated column for medical officer’s signature is also present. In most cases, this certificate should be enough,” said an official. The official added that an SMS with a link to download the certificate from the web portal is sent to a person’s mobile phone once he or she completes the quarantine.

A medical officer of a PHC in Thiruvananthapuram said that people visit the centre to collect the quarantine certificate because the online attempt to download the same fails or they require a hard copy. “Not everyone has the facility to take a print out at home so they come to the PHC to collect it. The site is also slow and real-time updating may not happen every time. Also, many companies insist on signed and sealed certificates by the medical officer,” the official added. 

An official of the district administration said they had earlier written to the state government to ensure that all certificates relating to Covid-19 are issued online to avoid physical interaction. “The Covid-19 negative certificate, on the other hand, is only given to those who request it. A person has to get it physically though we don’t insist on the patient to be present. A friend or family member can also collect the certificate,” said the official. Commenting on the sexual assault incident, the official said it was an isolated incident and the complaint is under investigation. 

IN A NUTSHELL
According to medical officers, an average of 10 to 25 copies of certificates are being issued at PHCs and CHCs daily. Slow performance of the Covid Jagratha portal has also prompted people to prefer hard copies



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