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How We Can Stop Coronavirus in Ahmedabad by Using “Ahmedabad Model”

Wayne Whitehurst April 26, 2020

Considering last few days’ data, we’re not seeing the downfall which we were expecting because of this ongoing lockdown. I don’t know if you are agree with it, but I feel so. It can be safely said now, that only lockdown is not enough to contain the spread of Covid-19. We’ve to take other steps. So, what are the steps we can take from today by creating some kind of strict model?

Today, our main challenge is to find asymptomatic patients because these are silent spreaders of COVID-19. There are only two ways to stop them – either go for testing of whole containment zones, or at least selected places from where cases are emerging (especially from chawls and poles). A good example is Nagjibhudar ni pole, Manekchowk.

If we have done intensive testing, or we have tested all possible spreaders there, we should not find anymore cases from that particular place. Just like you did at Ramapir no Tekra. And if this kind of aggressive or I would say highly aggressive testing is not possible, then we have other ways, to stop all of them into their homes for at least next 10-12 days. Stop their movement completely; stop even internal pole movements. In this way we can see heavy downfall in new cases after 5-10 days. Because you must know the structure of poles and small areas with heavy population where social distancing and other norms are very hard to maintain. In such places just a mistake of any one person meaning around 10+ cases. At any point if you think that situation is not under control please read these suggestions –

#1 Highly Strict Lockdown in containment zones

We all know that we have lockdown for almost a month, and curfew of a week in containment zones (or we can say walled area of Ahmedabad), but still we’re not getting enough results, where results can be called satisfactory. The need of an hour, therefore, is to put very strict lockdown in containment zones by using forces. Just like Tamil Nadu, where they have used this term as “Intense Lockdown” – although they have given only 2 or 3 days lockdown, and we need at least 7 to 10 days to break the chain completely.

#2 Graphically presentation of “Area vise number of cases” for psychological effect

Currently we’re giving just lists with area names, age, male and females etc. ( And I believe its not going into everyone’s attention, may be media is not doing enough for it. ) Our aim for publishing such things is to make people aware about the number of cases in each area and to let people know if any cases are there in your surroundings.

So we have to “add-on” one more thing, just like covid19india.org, we have to present area wise numbers on a daily basis. We have to differentiate zones with colors (like red, orange and green), we can make a fresh website for that, or we can just use the same idea of covid19india.org and add one more page with this numbers in AMCs official website, so that media and general people will get a fair idea about areas such as Jamalpur or Dani-Limda and some other emerging hostposts as well.

Once people will order all areas from high danger zone to less danger zone (area wise), they will automatically implement all given instructions (Only verbal requests will not work). Some kind of visual effects always works.

#3 Time to stop requesting and act with strict action in containment zones

we have seen lot of requests and appeals from different people, but outcome we have seen not-so-positive, so far. Therefore, I think it is a time where we have to give them strict and detailed guidelines to follow, and use forces to implement them 100%, without any easing. Don’t even let anyone to go outside walled area, if their shops are in orange or green zone (as per new Central order – I don’t think it was needed for Ahmedabad). That’s because if any asymptomatic patient will leave the radar, Covid-19 will spread in other areas. So, I strongly believe that 100% strict lockdown in containment zones will help to curb the virus.

#4 Don’t implement centers orders blindly

On 24th morning, one order came from Gujarat state that, shops for glasses can be open and just after 4 hours order got reversed. What’s the point? After 24 hours, one more order came from center to reopen non-essential shops with certain conditions. Gujarat state gov is implementing these instructions, without fear of outbreak and without understanding the current situations. Now again in 24 hours, government is allowing glasses shops, as per new order to remain open. What I mean here is why so much hurry, and why create a situation of confusion? ( Addition at 4 PM 26th April – again it looks like gov have changed order ). Our first priority is to control the virus, and all other things can be done later. Government bodies should seriously think twice before placing any order, as the major population is not as literate as in many states, and they will just think that situation is now under control, hoping we’re free now. If we blame public for such chaos, then it is unfair because they are just following orders, as per their understanding and state of mind. We cannot expect them to behave like Japanese or Koreans. We have to pass each order by assuming the outcome.

#5 Avoid Comparisons

Our geographical situation, lifestyle, literacy level, mindset of our people, number of people of certain community are different from other states/cities/nations so we should not compare any numbers like per million tests, doubling rate or etc. If you see these numbers https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/, you will not find any single model which is perfectly fit for all nations. So, I don’t think there is any need to compare statistics with any other states/countries because as per current situation in Ahmedabad even 20,000 daily testing doesn’t fulfill the requirements ( I personally believe – maybe I’m wrong!).

#6 Give strict orders to essential shop owners

We have to pass some strict orders to shop owners of essentials to maintain social distancing and compulsory masks for their customers, if anyone will fail to maintain that, law will take strict action against them. Stop all vegetable paddle cycles in areas where the cases are more than 10. Because as per my experience and what I’ve seen in Media – they are main reason where people do not follow any rules, I don’t understand why? Use some big vehicles which contain high number of vegetables and other essentials, give some strict protocol to them to follow- it will help us to stop large gatherings at vegetable shops. You need to think something like that for Kirana stores as well (Especially for areas like Madhupura).

If you want 100% implementation in containment zones – You need to provide essentials and other needful facilities at door step.

We cannot implement 100% lockdown until we give them full facilities of essentials at their door step. There are some ways through which we can get success-

  1. Import vegetables, fruits and milk to these areas with enough stocks, we can do this way like we should appoint 2 to 3 responsible individuals, against like 50 odd houses, and they will daily collect orders for all essentials and take money against it. Then the same quantity AMC will get from their sources, or AMC can assign those responsible people to go to the market, to purchase all essentials, and at that place AMC’s responsibility to maintain social distancing, mask and other precautions. In that way we can stop large gatherings at maximum level.
  2. Medical facilities – Import enough number of 108 ambulances and put some doctors on standby to attend any emergencies in these areas. People can sit on their home at ease, knowing that if some unwanted emergency happens, we can get help in just a matter of 10 to 15 mins.
  3. Give Money – Although this one looks bit funny but I think if we give around 500 INR to 800 INR per family which are living in containment zones (who fully implement the lockdown). I don’t think anyone will go outside to earn that money. J
  4. Try to distribute ration kits in chawls, and other very poor areas with enough stock (at least for next 10 days), so that they don’t go outside for ration.
  5. Prepare team of at least 10 people for each containment zone, who fully look at problems and attend the queries of those people.

Create AMC Care fund

If you think you will need enough funds to facilitate this. You can create AMC care fund where you urge Ahmedabadis’ to contribute as per their comfort. You guys have earned that much confidence where people will not find any reason to not to contribute. They have full confidence that you guys will use it in correct manner,  and for the betterment of our people.

Bottom Line

If we want to get out from this mess we have to think beyond our boundaries and have to implement things in manner to strictly contain this outbreak or else we will regret. Like people remember “Bhilwara Model” after these kind of steps people will talk about “Ahmedabad Model”.