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Indian smart city offers new services to fight COVID-19

Image credit: Press Information Bureau

The Visakhapatnam smart city operations centre (COC) operates round-the-clock in three shifts to manage the impacts of COVID-19.

According to a press release, some of the services delivered by the centre include the announcement of cautionary measures and information related to COVID-19 through public announcements systems installed across 90 locations in the city.

It disseminates COVID-19 information through digital signboards (variable message display) installed at 10 key locations across the city. The centre has also installed a surveillance system (500 cameras installed across the city) monitors important areas and key junctions.

A COVID-19 helpdesk and contact centre at COC has been launched to trace and monitor foreign returned citizens in coordination with CMOH and DMOH daily. The helpdesk is functional 24×7 to coordinate with line departments like public health and city and district level officers from time to time.

The centre set up a toll-free number COC to answer emergency calls and follows up with line departments accordingly. Also, a mobile application has been developed to trace and map all foreign returnees. Based on the information received through the mobile application, cluster mapping and a high-risk colour coding map were digitised wherein category wise clusters were formed. Random samples were also collected based on the above analysis by District administration.

The release noted that another mobile application was developed for a survey of containment cluster by field-level ANM/ASHA/VOLUNTEER in identified positive areas.

The 20 rapid response teams (RRT) have been formed in Visakhapatnam. The teams are being tracked through the mobile tabs fixed in respective team ambulances.

An RRT application was developed wherein all the doctors of the respective teams are uploading the details of the citizens attended from the field directly. The same is monitored real-time by COC and concerned committees, the release stated.

Four mobile teams formed for sample collection for symptomatic citizens. The teams are being monitored through COC through a mobile tab-based tracking. Further, the concerned doctors submit details of the citizens through mobile application on a real-time basis.

Door-to-door surveys are monitored, and reports placed before concerned committee in-charges regularly. A mobile application is being developed to monitor the activities like bleaching and other sanitation activities in containment areas by the public health wing.

Essential and grocery vendor details have been circulated through social media. Dedicated helpdesk numbers have also been sent out to attend to any grievances related to essential and grocery issues.

The centre also updates the public with cautionary messages and information through their social media platforms.

Another smart city, Varanasi, is spraying sanitiser around COVID-19-sensitive parts of the city under the Smart Cities Mission (SCM).

As OpenGov reported earlier, given the limited options for transportation during the lockdown period, these drones were specially airlifted from Chennai through cargo flights with permission from the Ministry of Civil Aviation. A seven-member team with two drones was made operational and trial runs were completed on 17 April.

Spraying sanitiser through drones is prioritised for hot spots and containment areas identified by the district administration or the Chief Medical Officer. This is followed by isolation areas, quarantined areas, shelter homes, and other places where manual spraying is difficult.

The drone team first visits the area planned to be sanitised for the day and makes a quick visual survey of the terrain, buildings, and surroundings then chalk out a flight path to be followed by the drone.

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