Accurate addresses are vital if authorities are to reach individuals, deploy emergency services and deliver medical supplies as coronavirus spreads, the UPU has reported.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) says address infrastructure helps manage information, which can be coordinated and exchanged at different levels of government, and with health authorities.
Databases using addresses can link location data with personal identification details and information on infected cases, including the total number of people living in a neighborhood struck down by the pandemic.
Patricia Vivas, addressing and postcode expert at UPU, said, “In Europe, mapping outbreak cases of COVID-19 and deployment of emergency services have been handled in a matter of hours in countries like Italy or Spain. A very different scenario is to be expected in less economically developed countries where the COVID-19 situation is becoming increasingly intense; however, addressing networks and mapping tools have yet to be fully implemented in many of these countries.”
Emergency service responses are time-sensitive to identify a location and the best route to access it.
Vivas said, “Street names and house numbers greatly facilitate the ability of emergency response teams to reach an affected area. When operating in the field, the security and health personnel involved in the COVID-19 pandemic must be kept informed about the actions to be carried out and the risks of their work.”
For people in confinement, ordering goods online is essential, which requires proper address information.
The address network goes beyond the postal sector, underlying infrastructure onto which other services can be built and actions planned.