Congress doubts on Kerala virus data

Congress doubts on Kerala virus data

Agency News

Kerala, which reported on January 30 the first Covid-19 positive case in the country and was one of the states with the highest number of positive cases initially, seems to have flattened the curve with fewer infected patients against the number of patients recovered.

While many have complimented the state government for its prompt and effective management of the pandemic, opposition parties, led by the Congress, are crying foul because the state tied up with US-based Sprinklr, a citizen & customer experience management (CXM) firm, to collate and manage the Covid-19 data without supposedly following the protocol, compromising the privacy of the citizens.

The state government refuted the allegations, stating that the company, which offers its service to the World Health Organization, is run by a person from Kerala, its Software as a Service (SaaS) tool is offered free, and the data is stored in centres within the country.

The United Democratic Front (UDF), led by the Congress, according to local reports, is looking at escalating the matter, with the elections to the assembly scheduled for next year.

Ramesh Chennithala, leader of the Opposition in the assembly and a Congress leader, alleged that the Covid-19 related data collected across the state were going into the server of 'marketing and PR (public relations) firm' Sprinklr, which was involved in the election campaign of the US President, Mr. Donald Trump, in 2016.

The personal data of 175,000 people, including the Covid-19 patients and those under home isolation in the state, is being compromised, he alleged.

Health care workers are gathering the data through house visits and 41 questions soliciting details of existing chronic and serious diseases of the people under home quarantine.

The state government did not follow the protocol in such a deal, he alleged. No global tender was floated prior to selecting the company and the legal department was not consulted. He also said Sprinklr had no experience of health care data management and was sued earlier for data theft.

'This is pure business in times of Corona. This scam should be stopped at once,' he said on his Twitter account on April 13, the day the number of patients recovered overtook the number of those under treatment.