Thane: Redefining Lives during COVID 19 by utilising Technology and Data
December 31, 2020
COVID 19 pandemic has hampered the human life and economic losses across the world. Just like other cities in India, Thane is also facing the COVID19 challenge and its effect. Being the sister city of Indian Financial Capital, Mumbai, Thane was expecting the International travelers with COVID 19 suspects and patients.
COVID 19 is contagious and its spread in the city was increasing, hence it was important to identify the high COVID 19 patient zone and strategize to separate high risk/ low risk contacts/ citizens from the society.
Below are the key issues faced by Thane Smart City Limited (TSCL), Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and citizens:
- Increase in COVID patients
- Difficult for citizens to check the availability of beds in Hospital and ambulance
- Limited number of ambulances for patients/suspects/discharge patients
- Difficulty in tracing of contacts of positive patients
- Limited Rapid Antigen Testing across the city
- Less capacity of hospital beds
- Multiple health issues to discharged patients
- Limited access to essential services to citizen during lockdown in the containment zones and across the city
- Citizens were not having detailed knowledge about COVID symptoms, treatment to be taken, motivational speeches etc.
- Requirement of intra-city and inter-city movement of citizens and vehicles
- Control over citizens during Ganpati festival
Solution obtained using Technology & Data
TMC instituted DigiThane (Citizen Engagement Platform) to provide all possible services needed by Citizens (From Government, Local Businesses & Other Citizens) through one program. The City actively utilised the DigiThane, during the COVID pandemic to bring in a unified interaction/transaction layer between the Citizens and the Municipality.
Below are the several initiatives that have been undertaken at city level by TSCL & TMC:
- COVID 19 Public Dashboard: TSCL and TMC launched a Public Dashboard to view the daily and progressive data on active, discharged and death cases online. TMC has also developed an online GIS platform for plotting of all the Positive patients in the City and tracking hotspots and containment zones. Also, Hon’ble Mayor & Hon’ble Municipal Commissioner share the status of positive, discharged and death cases in the city to citizens on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. on a daily basis. Press bulletin is also released on daily basis showing the COVID 19 cases in the city. The COVID 19 information, guidelines, advisories are also shown and updated on TMC website.
- Citizen Services: TMC has established one of its kind Central Bed Allocation System (CBAS) including 24×7 War Room for Online Bed Management and also a facility to select ambulance, ICU beds and O2 beds. The variety of data is being collected and stored in Master database. The number of hospitals and their bed capacity including ICU beds and O2 beds is gathered from all the major hospitals across the city. The said data is shared with CBAS team to effectively manage the hospital bed online.
- Ambulance Allotment System for citizens to book ambulance on urgent basis through online & offline modes to reduce lag time for ambulance. The data related to type of ambulances, name of drivers & their mobile numbers, GPS location is collected. The said data is shared with CBAS team to effectively manage the ambulances.
- TMC has converted its City transport buses into ambulances to safely drop the discharged patients to their home. The city transport data is collected from transport department and idle city transport buses during lockdown were used effectively.
- Bike ambulances available with health departments are planned for antigen testing exercise.
- Multiple teams including Aasha Workers, teachers are deployed for Door-to-Door Fever Survey conducted for more than 80% of city population and on the spot Rapid Antigen Testing was done for symptomatic cases. The approximate population of the city was known and data of Aasha workers, teachers and primary health workers were collected and then each resource was mapped to conduct the door-to-door survey.
- Increase in the Dedicated COVID Hospitals (DCH), Dedicated COVID Health Centres (DCHC), COVID Care Centres (CCC), O2 Beds, ICU Beds capacity for Covid-19 Patients. The data related to existing hospital bed capacity and number of active patients were available. By projecting the data, it was possible to forecast the demand and accordingly the hospital beds were increased.
- Establishment of Post-Covid Care Centre which includes a team of in-house medical, psychiatrists and fitness experts. The discharge patient data and their health issues were gathered over time and accordingly they were provided relevant doctors and experts for their treatment.
- Doctor webinars/ panel discussions on COVID-19 broadcast on social media which was accessible to all the public.
- Launch of E-Pass facility for citizens for inter- and intra- city movement in July 2020. The authenticated data of each traveller was captured and provided to government officials to verify and confirm.
- Ganesh Visarjan E-Slot booking was opened to facilitate social distancing during Visarjan also conduct Rapid Antigen Testing at the venue. The data related to number of persons coming for Visarjan was captured in an application and citizens were requested to book a slot to maintain minimum crowd during that particular slot and to follow social distancing norms.
Sample Data Visualizations
In addition to Online solutions, the data is being used during the COVID 19 pandemic to provide awareness messages, as well as Government notifications to the citizens using the DigiThane app.
Below are some of the Data visualizations created using MS Excel and Tableau Software:
Insights obtained for decision-making
- TMC has developed an online GIS platform for plotting of all the Positive patients in the City, spread across each of the ward, showing the trend of positive, discharge cases on daily basis. The data of more than 50,000 patients is collected from Health Department and plotted on GIS platform.
- GIS platform is used by relevant authorities to forecast the cases and related healthcare facilities. Also, Thane Covid-19 Dashboard provides various other analysis which is useful for decision-making.
- Hotspots and Containment Zones are being regularly updated on the GIS map. Administration can see how the hotspots are shifting, reducing in size or are being constantly there in place basis which decision related to extension of lockdown measures were taken.
- Citizens can also check the Containment zones on the Dashboard that has been provided as it also contains these GIS maps for the utilization of the citizens.
- As on 15th October 2020, TMC has Covid Bed capacity of 4,445 (DCH, DCHC, CCC) in the city out of this 48.61% beds are with O2, 10.50% are with ICU, 5% are with ventilators and rest 40.87% are general beds. Also, the current overall Bed Availability in Thane City is 67%.
- TMC has also planned for more 1,604 beds in coming days.
Below are the benefits from implementing the such solutions:
- Easy access to Citizens for booking ambulance and hospital bed online
- More than 95% Discharge Rate of total infected patients
- More than 30 Lakhs citizens tested in Fever Survey and recorded details in Mobile Application
- More than 5 Lakh Testing through Rapid Antigen Testing and RT-PCR
- More than 17,000 beds capacity for COVID Patients in Thane City
- Achieved 1 is to 44 Contact Tracing Ratio
- Contained spread of Covid-19 during Ganpati Festival
- Thane Covid-19 Dashboard also hosted 1,140 vegetable, milk, medicine, grocery and meat vendors who were either providing the pickup and home delivery services. More than 45,000 citizens accessed the information of the essential goods providers during lockdown. More than 15,000 safe home deliveries were made.
- E-Pass system was launched. More than 5,500 utilized the E-Pass facilities for the movement inside the city related to health and other emergencies.
- Thane Covid-19 Dashboard was integrated with the Bed Management System which was again hosted on Covid-19 Dashboard for mass reach and 2-way engagement. More than 1,20,000 access was provided to Hospital Bed Management System through DigiThane Covid dashboard.
- DigiThane Citywide Self-Assessment Health Survey was hosted/ integrated on DigiThane dashboard. More than 17,000 people took the health surveys and health profiling of more than 13,000 people was done.