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. 

 GIS and big data have come
to the forefront to assist the authorities in monitoring the outbreak. From
providing invaluable location intelligence on the spread of COVID-19 in a
region to timely analytics for responding to the unfolding events, GIS is
proving to be a key player in this battle.

 COVID-19 is a rapidly progressing pandemic that evades
containment due to its asymptomatic spread. With geographic information,
authorities can track the locations of spread, monitor the suspects, and also
identify the vulnerable population for informed decision-making. It can also
help in contact tracing and monitoring the high-risk clusters. Hence, location
intelligence emerges as an important weapon in our arsenal to manage the spread
of COVID-19.

 How
Geographic Information Services can help during COVID-19

 We had utilized GIS in
combating outbreaks of infectious diseases in the past. Recently, the WHO and
CDC  had used the geospatial services
successfully for contact tracing and identifying the high-risk zones during the
outbreaks of Ebola, SARS, and Zika.

 The potential of GIS can be
harnessed during the current crisis as well and international bodies such as
WHO, national, and local governments are already resorting to location
intelligence to monitor COVID-19. Geospatial services help to analyze the
source of the outbreak, identify the pattern of spread, and understand the
effectiveness of social distancing. Robust mapping solutions assist to
accurately depict the data on maps and enable informed decision-making.

 Here are the primary
benefits of using GIS to control 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.

 Hence, GIS can be a
powerful technology that authorities can leverage effectively to flatten the
curve of COVID-19. It can help them take preventive measures, enable control,
and enforce surveillance.

 SBL Corp is a leading
knowledge organization providing accurate geospatial services for the past
decade. Equipped with the latest technologies to collect reliable spatial
information, we provide powerful GIS solutions to control the spread of
COVID-19.  SBL also offers an innovative
Home Quarantine Tracker Solution to help authorities enforce complete home
quarantine of the suspects.

 Let’s utilize technology to
fight COVID-19 intelligently.