For early detection of Covid-19 cases, the BMC has started using “smart helmets” to screen residents living in densely populated areas. Officials said two smart helmets have so far been used in slums of R North (Dahisar) and P North (Malad) wards.
The helmets can help in screening temperatures of around 200 people in a minute. On Thursday, BMC officials used it to screen 1,300 people at Ganpat Patil Nagar in Dahisar, one of the most congested slums in Mumbai. Shiv Sena corporator from Dahisar, Abhishek Ghoslakar, said the helmet is effective since it can cover a large number of people in less time. “It is always challenging to screen people in slums. With the help of the helmet, officials can cover more people,” he added.
BMC officials from R North said the helmets have a sensor linked to a smart watch, where the temperature would be displayed. “This is effective as mass screening is possible with it. It was introduced under the ‘Mission Zero’ initiative launched by the municipal commissioner for containing the spread of the virus in western suburbs. While a technician wearing the helmet walks in the lanes of slums, a team of health workers announce on microphone, urging people to come out of their houses to get screened,” said Dr Avinash Vaydande, medical health officer of R North.
“When a person’s temperature is found more than normal, we isolate him or her and test them,” he added. In R North, 2,283 cases have been reported so far.
After Ganpat Patil Nagar, civic officials will use the helmet in the slum pockets of Kokani Pada and Santosh Nagar. Officials said the other helmet is being used in P North (Malad) slums.
So far, around 10,000 residents have been screened in slums with the help of the two helmets, which were provided to BMC by Pune-based Bhartiya Jain Sangathna on June 22.
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