March 27, 2020 10:46:53 pm
The state government on Friday decided to use a mobile application developed by Surat Municipal Corporation’s Information Technology team to monitor the movement of those who have been asked to follow home quarantine for suspected exposure to coronavirus.
The Geographic Information System (GIS)-based app was launched in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Vadodara and Rajkot, principal secretary (health) Jayanti Ravi said.
According to health department sources, a total of 3,998 people are under home quarantine across the state.
“Apart from GIS mapping, the app is equipped with `Geo Fencing’ to alert the authorities if the person moves away from a specific area. It will help us track the movements of around 20,000 people who are under home quarantine,” Ravi said.
Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said, “We have got good response so far. Till now around 3,800 people have already shared their details on COVID-19 Tracker.”
Sources in the SMC said that the details of the travelers and other individuals are being collected through various sources such as the self-declaration forms filled up on SMC website, calls on the helpline number (1800123800), international travel detail history of travelers provided by the central government and other sources.
Trained officials then contact these people over phone and on scanning their situation, ask them to download the COVID-19 mobile tracker application.
After installing the app, the user is required to declare his or her current location and travel history.
Then every hour the user is required to update their whereabouts. If the user is found to have moved out of house or the specified area, he or she is sent to institutional quarantine.
Users also have to fill up a simple form twice a day, giving information about symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. They also have to upload latest selfie, so that doctors can assess them remotely.
Deputy Commissioner of SMC C Y Bhatt said, “Once the user fills up the details, he comes under our radar. This way we can put tabs on the person’s movement. A special ID is created for the user, which helps the IT team to track his movements. Apart from this, an SMC employee is also deployed to check on the person so that he doesn’t leave the house.”
The SMC’s IT teams prepare daily report after tracking the application. After a few days, a follow up is done by the doctors and health workers of SMC over phones. The doctors then submit their report to the IT teams who the upload it on the person’s app ID.
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