New Delhi, May 25, 2020: Four cities -- Jaipur, Indore, Chennai and Bengaluru -- could serve as possible role models for other urban centres in handling the Covid-19 pandemic that India is striving to control while moving to restart the economy.
In the last few days, the Centre has organized meetings between different municipal bodies to share their experiences in two broad aspects of Covid19 management: effective practises in handling a very high number of positive cases and keeping the mortality rates low, said officials aware of the developments, Hindustan Times reported.
It identified Jaipur and Indore metropolitan areas for innovate ways of tackling a high caseload and Chennai and Bengaluru as examples of large cities that are able to keep their mortality rates low.
Many Indian municipalities are facing challenges such as shorter case-doubling time, higher confirmation rates and higher mortality rates than the national average while issues like perimeter control of containment zones, mapping of buffer zones and house-to-house surveillance require more effective management. Slums and other high-density pockets inside the municipalities pose higher risk in Covid-19 management in the top urban centres.
Both Indore and Jaipur are aggressively conducting house-to-house surveys and contact tracing. While Indore has formed special patrolling teams for by-lanes, Jaipur has limited groceries or vegetable vendors in different localities to curb the potential super spreaders. As shops or milk booths see a large number of footfalls during the day, municipal workers and the local police are keeping a close eye on these places to ensure regular sanitizing and other measures.
Chennai and Bangaluru account for a sizeable number of Covid cases i but have been able to keep the mortality rate to about just 1%-- much lower than the India’s national average of around 3%.
A senior official said that the two southern cities had led by example in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. “Both Chennai and Bengaluru have optimized the use of ventilators and patient triage or assigning the degree of urgency in cases while handling a large number of patients,” said the official, who requested anonymity .
“We have seen some cities where ventilators have been used irrationally. But the patient management in southern states, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, has been much better,” he added.
The strategy adopted by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation was also lauded in the recent meetings. The city has established a network of private hospitals and municipal authorities for pooling health infrastructure.
The city is also working to make a portal to display online the availability of beds in different hospitals apart from GPS-enabled ambulances for real-time tracking.