Putting technology to use for better COVID management and quick transfer of patients to the Dedicated COVID Hospitals (DCH) and COVID Care Centres (CCC), the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started GPS tracking of ambulances.

While the city authorities have a fleet of 64 ambulances under the COVID management programme, 40 has already become GPS enabled and the rest will be fitted with the tracking devices very soon, a senior official said.

Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd (BSCL) is looking after the technological up-gradation part of the ambulances engaged on COVID duty, the official said.

When a patient is referred for shifting to a DCH or CCC after due teleconsultation at BMC COVID care 24×7 Helpline '1929', operating from Smart City office, BMC allocates available bed in one of the COVID hospitals or CCC.

An ambulance is alerted to pick the patient from his/her residence. These ambulances are now fitted with onboard GPS units for real time tracking. This provides an estimated time of arrival of the ambulance to the patient's residence just like we know the location of a taxi when we book through various apps on our mobile phones, he said.

Of the 64 ambulances, three each are with respective three administrative zones under BMC. This number will be increased by seven in each zone to make it 10 ambulances at each zone under the zonal control room for ambulance operation.

Thirty-four ambulances are at Capital Hospital in the heart of the city under a Central Ambulance Control Room.