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GPS Data to Map Corona High-risk Zones

  • 31 Mar 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to use Global Positioning System (GPS) data to map high-risk zones in the city and the number of positive cases in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Points

  • Till now, BMC had refrained from revealing details pertaining to COVID-19-afflicted patients to mitigate fear and prevent stigmatization.
  • However, with a spike in the numbers, lockdown and quarantine violations, the civic body has decided to map the high-risk zones to alert citizens to stay away from these areas and follow lockdown instructions.
  • Ward officers will ensure mandatory home-delivery of essentials like medicines and grocery items to restrict citizens movement in these zones.
  • Other initiatives:
    • To strengthen the healthcare facilities, final-year medical and nursing students will be drafted into its workforce and given charge of OPDs and administrative duties at various civic-run hospitals.
    • To decongest major hospitals and effectively use isolation beds for patients, BMC has decided to categorise patients based on the three categories-
      • asymptomatic patients below 55 years and without any co-morbidity.
      • asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients above 55 years.
      • symptomatic patients.

Global Positioning System

  • It is a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), used to determine the ground position of an object.
  • It is a US-owned utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services.
  • Services Provided:
    • The civilian service is freely available to all users on a continuous, worldwide basis.
    • The military service is available to US and allied armed forces as well as approved Government agencies.
  • Other GNSS include European Union's Galileo, Russia's GLONASS, China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and India’s Navigation in Indian Constellation (NavIC).

Navigation in Indian Constellation

  • It has been developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • The main objective is to provide reliable position, navigation and timing services over India and its neighbourhood
  • It is named after Indian fishermen and navigators and will provide two types of services-
    • Standard Positioning Service (SPS) is meant for the general public.
    • Restricted Service (RS) is an encrypted service meant for authorised users and agencies.
  • Unlike the widely used GPS which includes 24 satellites, NavIC has 7 satellites and their range is within India and its adjoining regions extending up to 1,500 km from the country's border.
  • Technically satellite systems with more satellites provide more accurate positioning information.
  • However, compared to GPS which has a position accuracy of 20-30 metres, the NavIC is able to pinpoint location to an estimated accuracy of under 20 metres.

Source: IE

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