Geographic information systems can play a significant role in the surveillance of infectious diseases. The current COVID-19 outbreak is witnessing governments using geospatial services like location-tracking and mapping solutions to contain the spread of the pandemic. Here is a brief on how GIS technology can help the world fight COVID-19?
COVID-19 is undoubtedly one of the biggest pandemics the world has faced and the crisis can reach unmanageable proportions without timely actions from the authorities. Technology is playing a big role during COVID-19 by keeping the world connected, maintaining business continuity, and providing intelligent tools for the authorities to control and manage COVID-19.
● Contact tracing by mapping the travel history of the COVID-19 cases and further enforcing quarantine of the suspects. With GIS authorities can enforce absolute compliance to home quarantine.
● Geo-fencing of the COVID suspects and tracking them with an alert system. The authorities receive an alert notification when the suspect crosses the surveillance zone. The Kerala Disaster Management Authority, the Gujarat Government, and the Telangana Government have used geo fencing services to enforce quarantine compliance.
● Mapping the confirmed COVID-19 cases along with the recoveries and fatalities.
● It can monitor risk groups such as the elderly population or those with pre-existing conditions.
● We can leverage big data from multiple sources to predict the spread pattern.
● Identify the hot spots and the epidemic zones using GIS supported augmented reality incorporated into 2D/3D maps.
● GIS can map the medical resource and capacity and thereby evaluate future demand based on the COVID-19 spread pattern. Authorities get a clear idea of the needs of the health care infrastructure in terms of bed capacity, PPE, and ventilators. Any capacity gap would be revealed and measures can be taken to ensure a continuous supply.
● Communicate information to the public and the partners through maps and maintain an informative channel for the public to respond.
● GIS and big data can also help to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy in terms of unemployment, bankruptcies, or social issues such as domestic violence or child abuse.
● Businesses can use GIS to map the travel history of the employees and assist them to comply with the government norms.