Coronavirus outbreak: BMC turns to phone GPS! Mumbai civic body ramps up tracking people under quarantine

FE Online

Coronavirus impact: Tracking movements of quarantined people is top priority for BMC! Given that many travellers are not complying with the health directive to stay at home, it becomes essential to track their movements to curb the spread. To track the movement of all people who have been put under quarantine, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has called for stringent measures. The BMC has asked the Mumbai Police to adopt GPS tracking to keep an eye on people infected or suspected to have infections, as per an IE report.

The BMC has suggested that the Mumbai police should track the phones of international travellers who have been identified and asked by the government to be under quarantine for a period of 14 days, the report added. The municipal body that governs Mumbai has taken this measure as many people are not following some of these key directives that have been issued by health officials. The Municipal commission has said that the steps such as counselling and daily phone calls by health workers have not been able to serve the purpose. Hence, the municipal body has had to try something new to reinforce quarantine for suspects.

Health authorities have also started to put a ‘fist stamp’ on all international passengers entering into India via Mumbai. The stamp reads "Proud to protect Mumbaikars. Home quarantined". This step is to bolster the confidence of people who are affected. The stamp also has the date which states the period for which that person has to be in quarantine.

The recent measures by the BMC have been inspired by the South Korean model of combating the Coronavirus pandemic. South Korea which was affected severely after the Coronavirus has emerged in the Chinese town of Wuhan. Then, it started aggressive testing and have tested around 2,90,000 people to tackle the spread of the Covid-19. The country has set an example as the number of cases has fallen sharply in recent days. Other countries such as the US, UK, Italy which have been slow to start the testing have seen the number of cases rising.