Micro zoning can control next wave of COVID epidemic

Micro zoning can control next wave of COVID epidemic

Image only for representational purposes

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 28

As India moves into an uncertain phase, where the efforts to combat COVID will have to be balanced with the need for restoring normalcy, a start-up has sought to provide a solution to the unlocking of billion-plus human life.

Since physical distancing will always be a challenge in a country like India, Sociometrik has identified micro risk zones within seven larger metropolitan regions (megacities) that could be potential hotbeds for the spread of contagion.

These micro risk zones can be used by relevant authorities for close targeted monitoring of potential outbreaks in the future especially when lockdown measures are eased, and case count starts coming down.

This could be a broad-based approach towards containing a second wave. Another way this can be leveraged is when combined with current cases of location data, these spatial-demographic variables can act as predictors to predict the location of future outbreaks in a machine learning framework.

“All indicators are pointing towards a long-drawn battle in front of us. Hence the combating strategies will also have to be sustainable and may evolve from say, cluster monitoring at present to a more broad-based targeted monitoring soon,’’ suggests the company.

It has assigned a relative risk score to each 1 sq km grid based on some criteria. These grids or micro-zones are also mapped to municipal wards as defined by local authorities or census definitions. In essence, localities within cities which are densely populated, connected with multiple other localities and have several points of the congregation are most likely to be susceptible to the contagion.

“We believe it could be a sustainable way for authorities to combat this crisis in the long term,’’ said the company. All the data has been extracted through satellite imagery, location data and government records.

 

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