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Communication is Key: Mumbai's Covid-19 Model Gets Govt Praise

File photo of a deserted Gateway of India. (PTI)

File photo of a deserted Gateway of India. (PTI)

Analysing the case history of Mumbai, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry said an effective citizen communication and decentralisation of processes is the key for Covid-19 case management.

The Centre on Tuesday applauded efforts taken by Maharashtra government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to curb the second wave of Covid-19 in Mumbai city. Maharashtra was the state worst-affected by the coronavirus disease, but has now improved its infection tally by strictly following its crisis management protocols. In today’s press briefing, the Union Health Ministry mentioned about Mumbai case analysis and how the state capital showed a quick improvement in the Covid-19 situation.

Analysing the case history of Mumbai, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry said an effective citizen communication and decentralisation of processes is the key for Covid-19 case management. In Mumbai model, three basic criteria were followed, which were:

ELIMINATE PANIC

- Central War Room was abolished to create a decentralised communication approach.

- Test results shared with administration to communicate the results with citizens and guide.

DECENTRALIZED APPROACH, WARD-LEVEL WAR ROOMS

- War room set up in all 24 wards

- BMC acted as the hub for receiving close to 10,000 test results everyday from 55 labs and sorting them based on wards. These results were then shared with respective war rooms. This led to a reduction of caseload on each war room.

- Each war room was equipped with 30 telephone lines (10 telephone operators, 10 doctors/medical support staff and 10 ambulances) and 10 dashboards highlighting information regarding availability of beds.

AUGMENT HEALTHCARE INFRASTRUCTURE

- Medical staff: Doctors and medical staffs were invited to work in war rooms and were offered a stipend and hotel accommodation.

- Ambulances: 800 SUVs were refurbished and turned into makeshift ambulances. A software platform was created with Uber’s help to track and manage these ambulances.

- Hospitals: A centralised dashboard of 172 hospitals and Covid-19 facilities was created to keep track of available resources. A system of procuring hospital beds was established. Each ward team was responsible for examining the patient and procuring a hospital bed through dashboards wherever necessary.

The Supreme Court and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently appreciated Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government and BMC for its Mumbai model in fighting the pandemic.

Other prominent personalities like Biocon Ltd’s Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Delhi Capitals owner Parth Jindal had also praised Maharashtra and BMC for its model of decentralised Covid-19 management and advised other states to follow these methods to beat Covid-19.

Mumbai on Monday recorded a steep drop in new Covid-19 cases at 1,794, the lowest single-day count in nearly two months, while 74 patients succumbed to the infection, the BMC had said. With the addition of 1,794 new Covid-19 cases and 74 fresh deaths, the financial capital’s cumulative caseload rose to 6,78,269 and the toll to 13,891, according to the BMC data.

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