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Priyam Dave|Oct 28, 2021
New Delhi, May 15 (PTI): Researchers at IIT Gandhinagar have developed an interactive COVID-19 dashboard that they say can help administrators, hospitals as well as public in planning optimised testing for the novel coronavirus, and containing community infection in various post-lockdown scenarios.
The dashboard provides different epidemiological scenario-specific information at a city-scale, said the researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN). It is aimed at helping various stakeholders in optimised testing efforts and post-lockdown operations to contain community infection, they said. The dashboard called "MIR AHD Covid-19 Dashboard" integrates the complex social and transportation patterns with state-of-the-art epidemic spread models, in addition to testing and quarantining rates, and contact tracing rates.
"MIR AHD Covid-19 is intended to disseminate information to stakeholders and the public that can help them make research-backed decisions during the time of crisis," said Udit Bhatia, assistant professor of civil engineering at IITGN, and one of the lead researchers of the project. "This model relies on our US patented technology that takes into account the travel preferences in the town and ranks different road segments according to their relative importance in the network," Bhatia told PTI.
He noted that the team is discussing the project with different government agencies who can utilise this dashboard to handle different scenarios. The researchers, including Prasanna Venkatesh B from IITGN, noted that in densely populated areas, intra-community and inter-community interactions become an important accelerator in disease spread. For policymakers and administrators, they said, the dashboard can simulate the rate of COVID-19 spread in various zones of a city under different lockdown strategies that have been implemented or under consideration to apply.
Another feature of the dashboard provides information to the stakeholders about the most critical intersections in the city if it decides to implement "drive-through testing," according to the researchers. For the general public, the dashboard provides real-time information on the number of cases for all the districts, they said.
The dasboard can provide maps of the red, green and orange zone, and COVID-19 hospitals, according to the researchers, including Deep Chakrabarti from King George's Medical University, Uttar Pradesh. It also provides location of government testing laboratories and an interactive slider to choose travel paths in case the users want to avoid travelling through a particular zone, they said.
The team is using Census 2011 and 2020 population data for city, combined with land-use maps. Patient count, hospitals, city-wide zoning, and testing site locations are updated in real-time based on various application programming interfaces (APIs), the researchers said. Features such as trajectories are also integrated into the dashboard, they said. The researchers noted that stakeholders can also submit their job requests on the dashboard, and the team will provide the outputs relevant to that scenario. While the initial testbed is Ahmedabad, the researchers said they are working on expanding the model to other Indian cities and states which have been identified as hotspots by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
"Researchers from Germany are also interested to explore the possibility of making similar exercises operational in their cities," Bhatia noted.
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