The micro management plan, rolled out by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) in June, to combat COVID-19 has proved to be a game changer. The civic agency has since been able to effectively coordinate and supervise the prevention work in the 200 wards.
According to GCC Commissioner G. Prakash, the plan has helped in door-to-door surveillance, conduct of fever clinics, supervision through the home quarantine and monitoring system (HQIMS) application, intensification of testing and creation of computerised reports for effective pandemic management. The spatial and temporal analysis of the fever camps has been obtained on a daily basis in over 39,000 streets.
Before the strategy was formulated, there was little coordination between civic and health officials.
GCC zonal officers said sanitary officers/inspectors took much of the prevention work, including shifting of COVID-19 patients, contact-tracing, supervision of survey workers (sector health) and barricading of streets. The Assistant Executive Engineers (AEEs) and the Assistant Engineers (AEs) were not much involved in the containment work.
A senior GCC official of the Kodambakkam zone said that once the pandemic control work was unified and division-level response teams were formed, the containment operation became more professional, with daily gate meetings organised with sector health workers and plans for strategies finalised.
The feedback on unfinished tasks from the previous evening was also obtained.
The response teams, headed by the respective AEs/JEs, consisted of the divisional health officer, the medical officer of the Urban Primary Health Centre, the sanitary inspector, the tax collector, the licence inspector and the conservancy inspector.
They switched from a top-down management approach — senior officials giving orders and local officials taking steps — to the one that gives more freedom to local officials to manage workers and update containment works on a dedicated WhatsApp group.
The testing rate also gathered pace from June through the thousands of fever camps conducted in residential areas. As on Sunday, the GCC conducted nearly 61,000 fever camps that covered 30 lakh persons, with more than 1.75 lakh swabs taken, a senior official said.
Mr. Prakash said more than 20% of the population of the city had been covered through the fever camps.
While Chennai is still reporting more than 1,000 cases daily, civic officials, citing the peak of over 13,500 cases in the first week of September, say they have been able to prevent cluster formations.
A GCC official of the Adyar zone said the coordinated work system helped in strict surveillance of vegetable markets, which had been one of the biggest pandemic spreaders, with the testing of those working there every fortnight. – The Hindu