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Mumbai and Pune models to contain virus spread needs to be replicated at the national level, says health ministry

01:09 AM May 12, 2021 | Sanjay Jog

The Centre on Tuesday made a strong case for replicating the Mumbai and Pune models at national level for containment and control of the Covid-19 infection. The Centre made a special mention of decentralised control room at ward levels in Mumbai along with the central war room, citizen engagement, test result receipt and analysis, makeshift ambulances, IT platform for its management and centralised dashboard for hospital bed management to ensure patients.

The health ministry said “Mumbai’s decentralised approach to COVID 19 containment needs to be adopted at the national level. The ministry appreciated BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) efforts in fighting the pandemic.”

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“Control rooms were created for engaging with citizens but they were not at Municipal Corporation level but were at ward level, for each of the 24 wards. BMC which receives lab results passes it on to the respective ward acting as a hub during the process and helping in reduction of case load in each ward. Each Ward room has been equipped with 30 telephone lines, managed by 10 telephone operators, 10 doctors as well as 10 ambulances. There were also 10 dashboards highlighting information about availability of beds. This ensured that citizens did not face any difficulty in getting admission to hospitals,” said joint secretary Lav Agarwal.

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He further noted that, “In addition to these, 800 SUVs were refurbished to convert them into makeshift ambulances. A software platform was created to track and manage these ambulances. All these systems work together to ensure that patients do not face problems in finding bed.”

As far as the Pune model is concerned, the health ministry said it is a fine example that shows how containment measures can help restrict the spread of the disease. “When Pune witnessed 69.7% case positivity rate in the first week of March 2021, it started measures like night curfew, imposed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. This resulted in reduction in growth trajectory of COVID cases and decline in COVID positivity rate, as the positivity rate reduced from 41.8% to 23.4 %,” it added.

“We have observed that strict measures like restrictions on mass gatherings and on intermingling of people along with closing of non-essential activities for a period of 15 days reduce the rate of growth of cases and cases start plateauing”, said Agarwal.

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