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Use of Spatial Technology on Managing Containment Zones During COVID-19

Ashish Raj, Chief Operating Officer, Transerve writes on technology-enabled solutions to operationalize smooth response to Covid-19 by authorities. 

The economic machinery brought to a standstill by COVID-19 – seeking to curb the impact of the pandemic, yet to revive the economy, India is now approaching a staggering lockdown exit situation. As optimal management of containment zones becomes crucial, a plethora of challenges need to be overcome by the government in order to avoid flare-up in incidences of the disease thus forcing another complete lockdown.

The hindrances lie mainly in:
• Tracking the movement of vehicles supplying essential items
• Lack of 360 degrees sanitation during exits/emergency
• Smooth operation of emergency services (e.g. ambulance, fire brigade, police)
• Tracking of existing personal / vehicles out of Containment zone
• Restricting movement of incoming people along with tracking & restricting the movement of residents.

The need for the hour is a Vehicle Management and Tracking System which issues movement passes through a mobile app and a Command & Control Center (CCC) to track geo-locations of vehicles/people with passes in real-time and process flow from registration, approval, tracking and risk mitigation. The solution brings multiple stakeholders on a common platform and helps in the swift address of exceptions as well.

The pass issued by the government for the movement of essential items hence would be replete with all the necessary information of the person ranging from the type of essential service, to contact in the organization (along with designation and contact details), personal credentials to places to be visited, the validity of the pass, to the names of co-passenger and Photo and ID thus ensuring complete transparency and accountability.

Vehicle Management and Tracking System is a simple digital system to issue movement passes for essential service providers and track geolocations of all issued passes in real-time. There are myriad benefits of the app for the essential services providers and citizens. Not only does it ensure digital application and assurance of the movement pass, but it also saves on a lot of time and effort in acquiring the pass thus minimizing physical contact and maintaining social distancing throughout the process. Partnering up with law enforcement teams via digital approval system, real-time tracking of movements, geo-fencing of contaminated zones , it also facilitates easier contact tracing of essential service providers who face highest exposure and are at a risk of becoming super-spreaders. Thus, when leveraged rightly the Vehicle Management and Tracking System can become a powerful tool in combatting COVID-19 by helping in the optimal management of containment zones during this tumultuous phase of staggered exit from the lockdown.

The tracking system is designed by the customization of Transerve Online Stack platform which has its core as a geo-spatial engine. The system begins with defining workflows, dashboards with relevant insights, an app for issuance of passes along with tracking, collecting live GPS data on the platform. Providing a GIS dashboard for tracking of vehicles, preliminary reporting on the number of passes issued along with the current vehicles on road – one can also monitor and highlight daily dashboards, key findings, maintain issue log, feedback and incorporate all this information on a web page.