Steps By Rajkot Municipal Corporation To Contain Covid-19

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A week before Corona crisis started, Rajkot Municipal Corporation had started massive cleaning exercise in the city. Reducing spitting was also a priority. — Number of people had been penalized for spitting in public. Senior officers were given responsibility of each ward as “ward prabhari”. Monitoring was also done through 1000 plus CC tv cameras and through use of ICCC ( Integrated Command and Control Center).

When first case of corona was detected on 18th March, contract tracing was immediately started for potential carriers. Since the first patient had come into contact with large number of people, it was decided to set put the whole cluster under quarantine. The challenges were that socio economic profile of the locality was very poor. Officials could however convince them to set up cluster quarantine with a condition that all their basic needs will be taken care by Rajkot Municipal Corporation. RMC supported the families with daily supplies like milk, vegetables, food grains and groceries. Separate medical teams were deployed to monitor the health of vulnerable residents.  Support of State Government was taken to distribute cash doles.

At the same time quarantine facilities were established in and out of the city on war footing basis, with adequate facilities to ensure comfort of those who were quarantined.  Extra care was taken to ensure that their emotional needs were taken care in stressed period.

By this time lockdown had already been declared in whole city. To ensure enforcement of lockdown establishing home delivery systems was essential. Unfortunately the city neither had such systems, nor had a supply mechanism to support it. There was also no baseline data about where the essentials were available and the supply linkages associated with them.

A rapid but detailed accurate survey was done to list all grocery, milk and chemist shops. A map of their supply linkages was also created. The following steps were taken to ensure that supply of essentials was not stopped and secondly they were made available to doorstep of all households.

  1. APMC was asked to reopen and ensure that supply of vegetables and grains is maintained during entire lockdown period. Also local grain market was asked to reopen and ensure supply to all groceries.
  2. All local supermarkets were asked to establish home delivery mechanism. Swiggy and Zomato were also roped in to make delivery systems better. When again a need were felt, autodrivers who were unemployed were assigned to specific grocery stores and authorized to make home deliveries.
  3. All private dairies were asked to ensure that home delivery of milk was done.
  4. Vegetable markets were closed but the vendors were permitted to move with hand carts in the city to ensure supply of vegetables.
  5. Private courier operators volunteered to home deliver medicines from chemists and they too were assigned specific shops.

All the data was put on website so that citizens could locate a grocery store near to their house, contact them on phone and place order as per their needs.

At the same time three tier listing process was done to find out people who had travelled from other countries. All these people were put under home quarantine. Separate teams were deployed for 1) Medical supervision for symptoms, 2) Non medical support by ensuring home delivery of essentials. A separate Mobile app was created to monitor those people and ICCC (integrated command and control center ) was also roped in to monitor these families.

Since all the restaurants and eateries in the city were closed, and also considering the needs of daily wage earners who had lost their earnings, a system was established to 1) make food or grains available to poor 2) make food available to those who can afford it but unable to prepare it by themselves due to old age or otherwise. A single platform ensured that all NGO’s operated together and ensured supply of food to all those who needed it.

During this period we deployed sprayers to ensure that disinfectants were spread in the city, potable supply of water was constantly monitored and regular solid waste management activities were carried out. Constant engagement with citizens was maintained to ensure any unfulfilled needs are catered.