Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 contact tracing fetches award for Tamil Nadu cyber crime wing

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami giving away the best practices award to the cyber crime wing

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami giving away the best practices award to the cyber crime wing   | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

Apart from fighting cyber criminals, the sleuths of the Tamil Nadu Cyber Crime wing donned a new role during the COVID-19 pandemic -- providing help in contact tracing and identifying hot spots.

In appreciation of the work done by these policemen in combating COVID-19, they received the ‘Best Practices’ award during the Independence Day celebrations held in the city on Saturday. “All the departments were asked to send in their best practises in the last one year. We also sent a write-up on what we have done and what we have been doing for COVID-19 contact tracing. Based on this, our wing was selected and awarded,” said a police officer.

The Tamil Nadu police had launched multi-faceted initiatives to trace all the potential contacts of those who tested COVID-19 positive. The cyber crime division, headed by Additional Director General of Police, G. Venkatraman, and comprising Superintendent of Police Shashank Sai, D. Shanmugapriya and other police officers started identifying COVID-19 hot spots and clusters.

“Using the mobile numbers of COVID-19 patients, we built a data model to identify the hotspots and where clustering had taken place. It helped in controlling and curbing the spread of the virus,” added the officer.

The phone numbers were also used for contact tracing. “Some IT employees also helped us in carrying out the work. The application of technology in contact tracing has contributed substantially to making policy decisions and taking pro-active measures to prevent and contain the spread of the pandemic,” explained the police officer.

Service to the society

Apart from contact tracing, the sleuths of the cyber crime division also helped solve issues faced by patients admitted to hospital. “When we called patients for contact tracing, they informed us about their basic needs that were lacking at the hospital. We coordinated with the Health Department and got these needs met,” explained the officer.

The police officers from the division consider this a service to the society. “When we started the contact tracing, there was a stigma towards COVID-19 patients. Now, things have changed. People are coming forward to get tested. There is more awareness. It was possible because of coordination between various departments,” added the officer.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 8:17:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-contact-tracing-fetches-award-for-tamil-nadu-cyber-crime-wing/article32362631.ece

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