War room to track people within 8-km radius of patient

War room to track people within 8-km radius of patient

People work at BBMP's war room for monitoring coronavirus cases in Bengaluru on Monday. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

The BBMP’s Covid-19 war room, which was inaugurated on Monday, will have surveillance data of people in an 8-km radius around a confirmed patient, where he was first found to reside.

BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar told DH, “We are stamping all those in home quarantine, and we will track their mobile phones through their GPS location. We are taking the help of police. If they are going beyond the containment zone, we will call them and ask them to go back home. The police will send us their names and tracking details.”

Follow latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic here

The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique 15-digit code authorised by GSMA, just like an identity certificate for a phone. Every time a phone uses a particular network to make or receive a call, send or receive a message, its IMEI number is automatically emitted and tracked.

“The police have the powers to get this information from various service providers. Our war room is being led by IAS officer Hepshibha Rani who is also the managing director of Smart City. If a patient tests positive for Covid-19 (currently 16 in BBMP limits), then 3 km around the location where he was found will be the containment zone, and beyond that, around 5 km will be the area where houses will be visited door to door by our team. They will be briefed on the sanitation procedures that they have to follow,” Kumar said.

WhatsApp numbers

The civic body chief said the general control room numbers and WhatsApp numbers should work for Covid-19 too as they are located together. “If it is Covid-19 related, the call from the general public will be transferred to the war room,” he said. 

Hepshiba Rani told DH, “We get real-time data from the health department. We map all suspected and confirmed cases under isolation. Through this mapping, we try to mobilise our resources in that particular ward and zone.

“The BBMP map has details of all staff at our disposal. We get an indication of who has to attend to this job. It can be training, home quarantine surveillance or disinfecting the street, public place, identifying the places with the highest footfall where there are positive cases or suspected cases. This is tracked by a team in real-time in the war room.”

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