COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest scare for humanity as of yet and has claimed over two lakh lives and over 1000 lives in India. To curb the menace civic authorities are proactively coming up with effective strategies. Also, initiatives are being taken by the local governments across the country to ensure the guidelines issued by the Centre and the respective State governments are being adhered to and the lockdown norms are being followed. Detailing on the initiatives by the Ghaziabad civic body to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and their functioning in times of crisis, Dinesh Chandra Singh, Municipal Commissioner, Nagar Nigam Ghaziabad joined in a webinar hosted by Dr Ravi Gupta, Founder and CEO, Elets Technomedia.
Initiatives to tackle COVID-19 in Ghaziabad
Singh, addressing the COVID-19 issue, said, “COVID-19 is a worldwide problem and there are specific and clear guidelines that were issued by the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh State Government for fighting the pandemic. And, in Ghaziabad, we are adhering to the respective guidelines.” However, “In Ghaziabad, we have 14 hotspots and there is a fix protocol, as per the State, which allows the entry of medical staff, police personnel and sanitation staff only. We had 27 active cases of which nine cases have been recovered and the reports of a few are awaited. And therefore, saying that we are in a safe zone will not be right”, he added.
Talking on the challenges faced by the corporation, Singh said, “There were various challenges that we faced after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the major issues were of the migrant labourers. To provide them with food, shelter, and other facilities was a challenge but with the help of the dictrict magistrate and police personnel, we provided food to as many as 1.5 lakh people in three days.” Adding on to the assistance provided by the State to the poor and the needy, he said, “As per the Chief Minister (CM), we identified as many as 17,000 street vendors and daily waged workers and transferred Rs1000 to their bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). As of yet, we have transferred the benefit to 14,700 people of the total 17,000 identified. We contacted them through WhatsApp and through direct calls, took their account numbers and sent them the benefits.”