BMC ropes in private firms to trace suspected cases of Covid-19, people who may need to be isolated

Published By : TOI

MUMBAI: The BMC has set up a high-tech “war room” with a track-and-trace mechanism to contain and monitor Covid-19 cases and those who may require to be quarantined, with the help of private companies.

The BMC has tied up with online pharmacy firm PharmEasy, consultancy firm McKinsey and artificial intelligence company Fractal Analytics for better monitoring and tracking of patients to avoid instances of people ignoring self-isolation or quarantine. Pilot runs of the mechanism have been rolled out from Seven Hills Hospital and, if successful, will be implemented across the state, said sources.

The government has expanded healthcare infrastructure with quarantine facilities for suspected cases at Seven Hills and Kasturba hospitals to treat confirmed cases.

BMC decided to roll out the track-and-trace mechanism to get information on suspected Covid-19 carriers, find them, follow up for updates and check if they have developed any symptoms and ensure they do not come in contact with others, it said in a notification.

“We, along with our partners, are helping the BMC with a digital platform which will help collect, collate and analyze data on patients when they test positive, or when they are asked to self- quarantine or isolate themselves. The data will help the authorities tag these patients and monitor them with follow-ups as required. This is part of our corporate social responsibility,” PharmEasy co-founder Dharmil Sheth told TOI.

The software is also being used by the online pharmacy firm, which has 3,000 doctors on its platform and is accessible at 22,000 pin codes across the country.

The digitization is part of the war room activities to generate reports and insights which can be used by police and municipal authorities to take appropriate measures in order to contain Covid-19 outbreak and prevent more cases.

“We will do data digitization. McKinsey project management and Fractal will provide data analytics and insights. The data will be collected at testing centres or quarantine centres,” he added.