Editorial

Controlling COVID in Urban Areas

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Ravi Gupta, Founder Publisher, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of Elets Techonmedia Pvt. Ltd.

It is the fifth phase of the lockdown ongoing and the world is impatiently waiting for the lockdown to end. The statistics of the Corona outbreak, considering the infection and the death toll, display a devastating picture but the increase in recovery rate can be looked at as a good omen.

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However, be it the increasing recovery rate or overnight preparations of facilities, resources required, it can be accredited to tireless hard work of our local governments, especially city leaders where the infections are more compared to rural areas. It is a matter of fact that effective implementation of smart and impactful strategies at the grassroots level that have promising shown results. The cities, in war mode now, have utilised technological interventions to upscale the service delivery, monitoring and surveillance, healthcare facilities, awareness programmes and a lot more. And, Smart Cities Mission has posed as the driver for an improved response of cities against the Corona pandemic.

For instance, the Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs), an integral part of the smart cities, are being used as COVID-19 war rooms by the smart cities. Hence, in the time of lockdown, it was the technology that came in as a critical resource and response tool at this hour. E-offices being implemented in the government departments. ‘Work From Home’ has become the new norm. Video conferencing tools are the new meeting rooms, No more Seminars but Webinars! This can be termed as the new scenario highlighting the significance of e-Governance.

Also Read: Effective use of technology to transform cities, a COVID lesson: DS Mishra

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However, It would not be wrong to say that the pandemic has brought not only challenges but opportunities as well. And, city leaders are leveraging the opportunities to make the cities more prepared and disaster resilient, enhancing health infra, improving municipal services and citizen grievance redressal systems, and on the whole, making cities more liveable.

This issue of eGov Magazine which Elets Technomedia has brought in collaboration with National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is a display of the hard work and efforts of city leaders in their battle against the Coronavirus pandemic. Elets Technomedia had organised a series of webinars in May-June 2020 with over 50 city leaders to highlight the initiatives they took, challenges they faced, preparatory measures implemented, and their opinion on the governance in times of crisis. This issue is a medium to document and disseminate their efforts in protecting the cities from the pandemic.

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