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Mumbai Civic body to use GPS data to map corona high-risk zones

On Monday, Mumbai Police sealed the densely populated Worli-Koliwada area after eight persons tested positive for the virus, restricting entry and exit of citizens

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai | March 31, 2020 4:55:05 am
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, coronavirus, india lockdown, BMC, mumbai news, indian express news Till now, to assuage fear and prevent stigmatization of patients — and their residential precincts —BMC had refrained from revealing details pertaining to COVID-19-afflicted patients, such as their residential ward. (Representational Image)

Faced with repeated violations of the lockdown and fears of community transmission of coronavirus disease, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to use Global Positioning System (GPS) data to map high-risk zones in the city and the number of positive cases in each of these areas. The tracker is expected to be uploaded on the corporation’s website soon, officials said.

On Monday, Mumbai Police sealed the densely populated Worli-Koliwada area after eight persons tested positive for the virus, restricting entry and exit of citizens. Forty-seven more people tested positive for coronavirus in Mumbai Metropolitan Region on the day, the civic body said.

Till now, to assuage fear and prevent stigmatization of patients — and their residential precincts —BMC had refrained from revealing details pertaining to COVID-19-afflicted patients, such as their residential ward. It only revealed broader details like patient’s age, gender and a broader residential area.

However, with a spike in the number of lockdown and quarantine violations, the civic body has decided to map the high-risk zones to alert citizens to stay away from these areas and follow lockdown instructions. The details will also be used by ward officers who will ensure mandatory home-delivery of essentials, like medicines and grocery items, to restrict citizens movement in these zones.

Meanwhile, to strengthen the healthcare facilities, final-year medical students and second- and third-year nursing students from four medical colleges in the city will be drafted into its workforce. The students will be given charge of OPDs and administrative duties at various civic-run hospitals.

To further de-congest major hospitals and effectively use isolation beds for patients, the civic body has decided to categorise COVID-19 patients depending on symptoms and risk category. The three categories are — asymptomatic patients below 55 years and without any co-morbidity, asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients above 55 years, and symptomatic patients.

With the classification, BMC aims to provide services to stable patients at quarantine centres, freeing the hospital beds at isolation facilities for critical ones.

An order issued by the municipal commissioner states: “All existing BMC isolation hospitals should classify positive COVID-19 patients and shift them in an ambulance with aseptic precautions.”

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