#Surat evolves Rapid Crisis Management Plan under SBM-Urban
Surat, also known as the ‘diamond city’, is one of the most dynamic cities of India with one of the fastest growth rate due to immigration from various parts of Gujarat and other states of India. As one of the few major cities of India with a status of ODF++, Surat has been doing inspiring work while treading the journey of Swachhata. When the pandemic of Covid-19 emerged and became a global crisis and affected India and its cities, Surat has shown a similar spirit in protecting and serving its citizens better by developing and implementing a rapid crisis management plan which became a blueprint for the state government of Gujarat to follow.
Description automatically generated with clear objectives of reducing human to human transmission by breaking the chain of transmission concentrating on epidemiological triad (Agent-Host-Environment Factors), early detection of suspected cases and providing optimum care to the confirmed cases of COVID-19, SMC adopted three-pronged approach which they call “3-T Strategy” – Track, Test and Treat to fight against COVID-19.
Description automatically generated to identify and test all the suspects, SMC developed ‘SMC COVID-19 Tracker System’ within the span of 5 days, which includes a web portal and mobile application named “SMC COVID-19 Tracker” to track people who have abroad or inter-state travel history and persons who have come in direct contact with positive COVID-19 individual. Further, SMC has also started a helpline number 1800-123-800 where citizen can share details about travelers or suspects, verified by SMC team including health officials. The same app is also used to observe individuals under quarantine and contact them if any of them develop any symptoms.
Technology aside, SMC has keenly looked into the issue of waste management. Abiding to the special waste management advisory released by MoHUA, SMC has been collecting solid waste separately from all home quarantine households for which separate D2D collections vehicles are deployed and the waste is processed as per guidelines of Biomedical Waste Management. They are paying special attention that the routine solid waste collection, transportation and disposal activities along with cleaning and scrapping are carried out efficiently to keep the city clean.
Description automatically generated SMC’s efforts are also visible when it comes to the disinfection of public places. For the purpose of disinfection, SMC has taken unique three-fold strategy to check the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring that that the all areas of city are sanitized and disinfected. SMC through their team of VBDC and Fire Fighter has divided their activities in 3 areas as below:
Daily Disinfection and sanitization of Public Places: The major public places are disinfected through spraying disinfectant using spraying vehicles based on guidelines.
Description automatically generated disinfection of area with positive cases: Prompt action is being taken for the residential areas of the confirmed cases which is disinfected as soon as the case is identified. Considering as an epicenter, mapping of area as Contaminant Zone (upto3 km radius or as decided by authority) and buffer zone is carried out.
Description automatically generated apart from the prompt IEC activities that Surat has been taking to keep its citizens informed and make them aware on actions to be taken to contain the spread of virus; it is worthy to mention the innovative way in which they are utilizing their D2D vehicles to spread the awareness. The D2D collection vehicles have been equipped with public address system which is being used to make information available during its routine collection trips to ensure that message reaches to the maximum people. SMC is also releasing media briefing/press notes twice a day to keep citizens updated on developments.
Description automatically generated and Identifying the critical need for requisite capacity building of the personnel involved in variety of activities for the crisis management, SMC has identified a taskforce team and specific tasks including training with nodal officers have been assigned for the combating epidemic situation. Further, SMC has also put a Grievances Redressal system in place for quick response in the current situation. Keeping the health and welfare of sanitation workers in mind, SMC has made available free-of-cost Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all the personnel involved, thus exhibiting their resolve for protecting the Swachhata Warriors on the forefront of this combat against corona virus.
The trying times like these tests the true potential of leaders and leading organisations. The governing body of SMC has shown that they can continue to lead and set an example for the rest of the country to follow by devising best practices and taking prompt actions, undeterred by the situation of crisis that has befallen on the whole world.