With the onset of COVID-19 outbreak across the country claiming thousands of lives, the district authorities have buckled up their preparations to fight the pandemic and save lives. To know more about measures taken by Osmanabad authorities, Harshal Desai of Elets News Network (ENN) interviewed Deepa Mudhol-Munde, Collector and District Magistrate, Osmanabad, Maharashtra.
Ms. Deepa, on initiatives taken, said, “We identified migrants, their regular health checkups for corona and their isolation in the farmhouse, schools, or in the identified institutional quarantine places at least for 14 days helped us in mitigation of corona spread.”
Further, “we followed a strict implementation of Containment Zone SOPs. A total of 62 such zones were marked in Osmanabad. Of the 62 zones, at present 26 are active. Surprisingly, we had only 60 index cases and the remaining 119 were identified by expert teams of zones by tracking the close contacts of the index case”, she added.
In Osmanabad, special efforts have been made to improve the immunity of 1100 tuberculosis patients by providing them multivitamin tablets, protein powder along with a hygiene kit of sanitizer and masks. In the same way leprosy patients, HIV/AIDS patients are also supported with food kits, told Ms. Deepa.
Adding on she said, “We made the most of IEC to spread awareness. We used YouTube channels, social media handles, appeals from Akashwani by district level officers and experts, local bodies as well.”
Citing challenges, she said, “As Coronavirus’ epidemiology was not known, prevention and mitigations guidelines were not there. So daily one to one communication through video conference with all field level doctors and front line workers were conducted. Moreover, continuous support by providing products like sanitizers, PPE kits helped us to motivate workers. Various WhatsApp groups were formed so that all staff and officers get timely support and help.”
Preparations for Pandemic
As per government’s orders, the Osmanabad district is linked with the lab of Latur Government Medical College, told Ms. Deepa.
Adding to preparations she said, “To reduce unemployment and scarcity of labourers at industries, we circulated Google Form to collect the information of skill and unskilled labourers and gave it to respective authority to fill the gap from both sides. During Lockdown period to resolve the citizens’ complaints one dedicated WhatsApp complaint team was formed which redressed complaints with the help of respective authorities.”
For the distribution of foodgrains, supply department developed NPH (Non-Priority Holder) app, which enabled them central monitoring on every PDS shops and also covered citizens not having ration cards in this system. Moreover, in Osmanabad, nearly 50-60 different NGOs are actively working for food distribution, awareness, survey, spraying of disinfectant, distribution of masks and sanitizer, etc.