When a team sent by the central government arrived in Pimpri-Chinchwad on Wednesday to assess the industrial city’s plan to fight the pandemic, its members made it a point to visit the COVID-19 ‘war room’ set up by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) at its headquarters. After a close look and a briefing, the team members said they were impressed by the way civic officials had used technology to contain coronavirus.
“We were among the first ones in the country to set up a war room…We have integrated various technologies to tackle the challenge on an emergency basis. The use of technology has helped us track, test, monitor, isolate and quarantine the patients as early as possible and thus check the spread of the infection,” said Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, who was instrumental in setting up the ‘war room’.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Santosh Patil said the initiative was helping the civic body get data in real time. “Whether it’s from hospitals, flu clinics, health staff on the field, chowks where cameras have been fitted or from containment zones, we are getting updated information, which is helping us tackle the spread of the virus,” he said.
Citing an instance of how data gathering works, Patil said through GIS-mapping in Kharalwadi containment zone, they could mark the exact location of the area, carry out disinfection of localities, conduct contact tracing and take necessary steps to seal it. “With the help of technology, it is becoming easy to monitor the situation vis-a-vis the spread of the virus,” he said.
The ‘war room’ was set up in the last week of March, in association with Krystal Integrated Services and consortium partners Arceus Infotech Pvt. Ltd and Tech Mahindra.
“It has a large video wall displaying all available information across a map of the city, with multiple information, graphs, dashboards, video feeds, analytical information and alerts…,” said Saily Lad, director of Krystal. “The data also covers all citizens’ queries, issues and support-related information,” said Lad.
Patil said the system was also using information collected via cameras deployed at 85 locations for traffic surveillance. “There are nearly 280 CCTV cameras which help us find out whether there is a crowd at that spot, so that we can alert the police about it…”.
The PCMC has also put a stringent system in place so that immediate alerts can be raised if lockdown rules are violated, such as when crowds gather or social distancing norms are flouted. “We are also working on location-based services and analytical tools for quarantined COVID-19 patients, along with suspected cases.”
The PCMC has also launched its Smart Sarathi app, which has been downloaded by over 25,000 people.
The self-assessment survey for COVID-19 has been undertaken by more than 3,000 local residents. Through the app, PCMC has invited volunteer participation for the current crisis and almost 1,700 people have responded with positive feedback.
“We are sending awareness messages, daily updates, push notifications and SMSes,” said Lad
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