Following a virtual discussion of the chief scientist of the World Health Organisation (WHO) with top officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Friday, regarding the best measures to tackle Covid-19, the WHO expressed an interest in advocating for some of the practices implemented in Ahmedabad at its zonal units, as per AMC officials.
Among the practices appreciated by Soumya Swaminathan, principal scientist at WHO, were mobile medical van clinics or Dhanvantri Raths, Sanjivini vans that provide door-to-door care for home isolated patients and the public private partnerships that were struck with hospitals. Swaminathan was given a presentation by Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at AMC, Rajiv Gupta, and Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner, Mukesh Kumar.
AMC Deputy Municipal Commissioner with the health portfolio, Om Prakash Machra, said that the Aarogya Setu ITIHAS tool was also appreciated, especially since Ahmedabad was one of the first cities in the country to establish a direct link with its architects. Constant feedback on the application brought about progressive improvements, he said.
“Initially, the application would give data of a four square kilometre area, following which we gave our constant feedback on how we can utilise the data better. At present, the data is refined at two levels – post-offices, which number at around 50 in the city, and mobile phone towers, which number at over a 1,000. For each of these points, a score called ‘Covid hours’ is generated in terms of the people detected multiplied by the duration. For example, if ten persons are detected by a mobile tower for five hours, the score for the tower reaches 50 Covid hours. Based on these scores, we can detect cases better at the macro level as well as the micro level and prioritise accordingly.”
Meanwhile, the municipal commissioner issued a legal notice, notifying force majeure events (clause that frees contractual parties of liability) with its contractors in light of the pandemic. The notification stated that since the priority of the city administration, in the short and the medium terms, is protecting the city’s population from Covid-19, AMC’s manpower was diverted to meet related needs. The civic body’s contractual obligations are being assessed and thus, a force majeure event for all its contracts, deliverances, assurances, events and occurrences came into effect from March 25 onwards, the notice stated.
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