COVID-19 in Mumbai: How officials are tackling the spike in Bandra

Updated: Jul 02, 2020, 07:37 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

With cases increasing in the last month, local ward officers have told vendors to maintain health certificates and are tracking data in real time

Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

After a spurt in COVID-19 cases especially in residential areas last month, apart from the civic body's regulations, officials of the H West ward have taken up measures to deal with the pandemic more efficiently. While vendors have been asked to maintain health certificates that are updated weekly, the ward is remotely updating COVID-19-related data on a software that is accurate and less time-consuming.

The software, 'H West COVID 19 Information Centre', implemented last month, allows ward officials to upload and update information about every COVID-19 patient, including details of high-risk contacts. Vinayak Vispute, assistant municipal commissioner of the ward, said, "There is a lot of fieldwork involved and ward officials also have to report the data collected. This was taking a lot of time and led to repetitions. Through the software, officials fill up a form through an app to upload data." He added that while most of the software is functional, linking with hospitals and a couple of other aspects are still being worked out.

A woman shops at Pali market, Bandra. Pic/Pradeep DhivarA woman shops at Pali market, Bandra. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Vispute pointed out that earlier, there would be repetitions in the data and duplication of work while filing reports in various formats. The software now analyses and monitors data of patients in institutional or home quarantine and the number of Containment Zones. "The software saves time and energy and it gives realtime data. It also promotes transparency since one can see which official is in charge of a particular task and helps me keep track of pending work," Vispute said. He added that daily data that used to be finalised by 9 pm is now ready four hours early.

Over the past couple of weeks, the average growth rate of cases in H West ward (Bandra) has been 2.4 per cent, higher than the city's average. "Based on the trend of cases, markets were a probable source of infection. As an additional measure, we asked all stall owners and vendors selling fruits and vegetables to get a medical certificate from municipal dispensaries that has to be updated every week. We check their oxygen saturation level, temperature and other COVID-19 symptoms," said a civic official from the ward.

The official added that the licence department staff carries out surprise visits to check if the health certificates are up to date. While earlier there were a couple of cases from residential buildings, officials said now there are around 35-40 cases reported on a daily basis. H West ward has nearly 2,000 COVID-19 cases.

35-40
No. of cases being reported from buildings daily

2k
Approx no. of total COVID-19 cases in H West ward

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