Mumbai: Google into containment zones in city
BL Soni

Now, citizens can get updated location details on containment zones across Mumbai on Google Maps. Google, in association with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, has enabled a feature that will now show containment zones in Mumbai.

The civic body claims this move will help users from Mumbai and the adjoining areas to determine if an area is safe to travel to, given the increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. As on Thursday, Mumbai reported 2,22,761 cases, of which 24,789 are active and there have been 9,293 deaths so far.
The feature, 'Covid-19 info layer', that was launched in September globally, also enables users to access state-level Covid-19 statistics. When a user zooms out to view an entire state, this new layer overlays the number of new Covid cases (a 7-day average) per 100,000 and the trend in the number of cases in that state. This feature will cover all Indian states and is also available in several other regions globally.

"The Covid-19 containment zones will be displayed when a Google Maps user in Mumbai enables the Covid-19 layer, where demarcated zones will be displayed via a 'shaded grey area'," said a BMC official.

Google is working with the BMC to source information and to update the data on this platform. To see the containment zones, users must have the latest version of Google Maps and select Covid-19 info from the 'layers' button at the top right of the app.

Elaborating on the initiative, a Google spokesperson said, "As people and businesses emerge from the lockdown, access to clear information about Covid-19 containment zones as recommended by the authorities in Mumbai will enable users to make better decisions as they move around the city. This new feature strengthens our commitment towards working closely with the government to disseminate helpful, authoritative, and relevant information for people during the pandemic."

Talking about the efforts the civic body is taking to reach out to the public alongside fighting to keep the pandemic at bay, civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal said, "The BMC is at the forefront of providing information and in a very transparent manner, using the latest technology. State-of-the-art technology is being used in the hospitals, Covid centres and other works of the corporation, in the form of live dashboards for bed allocation, Artificial Intelligence-enabled X-ray machines and so on. This is getting a grip on the virus outbreak in the city, while maintaining accuracy and transparency at the same time. Various forms of information are being disseminated regularly on the website of the corporation, through various media, social media. This also informs the citizens about the exact status of outbreaks, number of cases, recovery etc."

As on October 8, the city had 643 active containment zones (slums and chawls) and 10,099 sealed buildings.

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Free Press Journal