Maharashtra's IPS officer uses geo-fencing to make Osmanabad Corona-free district

New Delhi: When Maharashtra is hitting the headlines for all wrong reasons, including maximum number of COVID-19 positive cases, the Osmanabad district of the state has registered itself as COVID-19-free district in the state.

The district on Tuesday declared COVID-19 free by the Union Health Ministry as all three coronavirus patients were discharged from the hospital after getting treatment and all patients are stable.

Apart from a huge number of committed healthcare workers, police personnel, the credit for the much-need victory over deadly virus goes to district's Collector Deepa Mudhol Munde and young IITian-turned IPS officer Raj Tilak Roushan, who converted the district from orange zone to green zone in a very short span of time.

Making the best use of his technical know-how, Roushan, a 2013-batch IPS, used geo-fencing technology to monitor people who were identified for getting either home quarantined or at the government hospitals.

While talking to Millennium Post, Roushan, who is Osmanabad's Superintendent of Police, said, "We used geofencing technology to create a virtual fence for a particular area and tracking the device. In COVID-19 case, the device was the mobile phone of the coronavirus suspects. If the device breaches that virtual fence, immediate alerts were generated and sent to the control room."

"The district had reported three positive cases and over 300 persons were quarantined, while about 700 were put under self-isolation as a precautionary measure. We created virtual fencing around the designated location of the quarantined suspects and tracked the location of the COVID-19 suspects after taking the consent of the persons who were to be tracked," said Roushan.

"We took "ruthless" lockdown measures such as strong sealing of borders, strict enforcement of social distancing, impounding of vehicles, conducting awareness programmes and strong police presence on the roads. All these measures helped us get the green zone status," he said.

"Since monitoring of COVID-19 suspects was the responsibility of the police and keeping an eye on all suspects was the major challenge when there were cases reported in other parts of the country that some corona suspects escaped quarantine centres," he said, adding that the geo-fencing prevented such escaping fiascos as this technology works even in rural areas, where people have basic phones in which apps cannot be installed.

A control room for the geo-fencing system has been installed at the Osmanabad police headquarters and a team of five police personnel headed by an assistant inspector was deployed to monitor all the suspects.

On the development,

Collector Deepa Mudhol Munde said, "Its good news for all of us. Still, people have to be more proactive and follow social distancing, hands washing, masking, no spitting in public, etc."

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