As a dire need to strengthen efforts to fight against the widespread of COVID-19, the tech-powered Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) of as many as 45 cities have been transformed into control rooms to monitor the viral pandemic and collect relevant data accordingly.
Prior to the pandemic, the ICCCs built under the Smart Cities Mission have been used for multiple municipal functions like effective management of 24-hour water supply projects, property tax collection, traffic management systems, smart street lighting, monitoring bus movement, monitoring CCTVs for security and more. After the onset of COVID-19, the ICCCs are now helping cities to track the spread of infection, collect data regarding the virus, monitor movement of people quarantined, monitor violation of lockdowns implemented due to the viral outbreak, and so on. The decision to use ICCCs has proven to be an effective surveillance measure. Also, as the ICCCs have been developed as hi-tech control rooms, hence, they serve the purpose aptly.
Besides using ICCCs as an aid for surveilling the COVID-19 situation, the smart cities in India are also using new ideas to tackle the situation. For example, Bengaluru transformed its ICCC into round-the-clock functioning Coronavirus War Room within 24 hours. The War Room has mapped each COVID-19 case in the city using GIS mapping and is also tracking healthcare personnel using GPS. Also, the facility is working on a containment plan using heat mapping technologies.
Ujjain, on the other hand, has set up a call centre that has classified the calls into five categories – the first category is information about what is COVID-19 and its symptoms; second is for people informing about a likely COVID-19 patient; third is from a person who is apprehensive of an infection; fourth is for calls from people who are quarantined/isolated and want to know about their condition; and the fifth one is any other problem-related calls, such as non-availability of essential goods or anything else.
As per the sources, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has compiled a list of best practices on the innovative ideas to fight COVID-19 and develop tracking systems to ensure all suspected patients and contact lists are covered. The Ministry would be sharing the list with the urban development secretaries of all states.