Bhubaneswar, May 29: Active community participation is the key in the war against the deadly novel coronavirus — called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as the pandemic continues to spread across the globe. With an aim to make the Capital City safe and secure, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) urges every citizen to cooperate, take responsibility and contribute within their individual capacity to tackle this unprecedented challenge that COVID-19 has thrown at us.
The BMC is thankful to the people of Bhubaneswar as they have shown a true fighting and winning spirit by extending their support to whatever measures the civic body has taken in the last few months to control the spread of coronavirus, including the complete shutdown of the entire city.
But, now the time has come for all of us to strengthen community ties and support each other to help the people in distress come out of this crisis and get back to their normal lives.
Seeking cooperation and commitment of people to embrace the new normal, the BMC today launched a mobile app called ‘Sachetak’ especially meant for vulnerable section of people and an awareness campaign named ‘Mo Sapatha, Nua Abhyasa’ at Social Equity Center at Saheed Nagar here this morning.
Sachetak: A mobile App for the vulnerable people
As the elderly people and those with comorbidities and pregnant women are most vulnerable to COVID-19, the BMC has launched a mobile App called ‘Sachetak’ in order to help these people both physically and emotionally during this crisis by ensuring their daily needs.
This app works as an one-stop-solution for providing various services such as fixing an appointment with doctors nearby, options for home delivery of essential items and medicines, updates about COVID-19, quarantine centres, number of persons in quarantine in their areas or ward, number of positive cases and deaths. Besides, the users can find information on the status of their and nearby wards – green, red or orange and containment zones.
The Sachetak app is currently available for download on the Google and Apple play stores and one can view it on www.sachetakapp.in . One needs to register on it by providing some details like age, occupation, address, Ward number, disease and details about your doctor and caregiver to avail the benefits.
The ‘Sachetak’ App has been designed and developed by Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) and commissioned by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation. A demonstration of the application was also made by Mr. Pinaki Dash, Programme Management Consultant, BSCL.
During the event, a brief presentation was made COVID-19 by Dr. C.V.S.N. Rao, ADUPHO (Additional District Urban Public Health Officer) to create awareness among the audience and to show the measures taken by BMC so far to contain the spread of the outbreak.
Similarly, Dr. Bijay Kumar Mohapatra, Director Health Services, said: “Each one of us has to follow all necessary guidelines and COVID-19 advisories such as physical distancing, hand washing, wearing masks to protect ourselves from the deadly coronavirus”.
As the fight against COVID-19 is likely to continue for a longer period, the BMC has gone a step ahead in order to contain disease through awareness and assistance by promoting active community participation in Bhubaneswar.
The BMC has formed Ward Level Committees in each ward of its three zones. Each committee comprise around 25 members selected from different groups such as Biju YuvaVahini Members, Local and Active SHG Groups, NGOs, Local volunteers and Local Club Members.
These committee members are designated as ‘COVID Sachetak’ and they will create awareness among citizens in different wards in ensuring strict adherence of COVID-19 norms like wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing and educating people not to stigmatise or socially boycott people infected with the coronavirus.
In addition to the above, the COVID Sachetaks will have to monitor the family under home quarantine about their adherence of guidelines and also make provision for smooth supply of household essentials/medicines to them.
Besides, ID cards and health kits (comprising one bottle of handwash, 50 handmade masks, 5 hand gloves and 30 vitamin C capsules) to COVID19 Sachetaks which they will use while conducting awareness in various areas in the city.
The BMC Commissioner along with other officials launched logo and pledge of Mo Sapatah, Nua Abhysa, Sachetak app.
Mo Sapatha, Nua Abhyasa’ Awareness Drive:
The purpose of the campaign is to inform, educate and motivate people to change their habits, behaviours and social etiquettes to adapt to new realities and learn how to live with the virus.
Under this initiative, the civic body wants people should obey and strictly follow five major practices such as ‘wearing face masks’, ‘regular hand washing with soap or sanitisers’, ‘maintaining social distancing (at least 6 feet distance from others) in public places’, ‘not spitting in public’ and the most important ‘taking care of vulnerable and persons with comorbidity’.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has recalibrated everything: work, life and play. Therefore, keeping its lethality in mind, we have launched this campaign to create awareness among public on how people make changes in their daily lives and embrace the new normal post pandemic. Each of us must follow three thing such as wearing masks, practicing handwashing and social distancing to keep coronavirus at bay,” said Prem Chandra Chaudhary, Commissioner, BMC.
The Commissioner further said: “Supporting and protecting older people living alone in the community should be everyone’s responsibility. We will emerge from this pandemic, having paid a high price, battered and bruised, but more resilient and readier in the future”.
As there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for COVID-19 available now. Therefore, the BMC, urges everyone to adopt good hygiene practice follow the below mentioned norms which are globally accepted and scientifically proved as measures to limit transmission among the population.
-: The very notion that COVID-19 only affects older people is factually wrong.
-: Young people are not invincible. 10% to 15% of people under 50 have moderate to severe infection.
-: As per the research done by National Institute of Health, the world’s foremost medical research centre, a simple cloth face cover can block nearly all the droplets.
-: Science has shown that washing your hands for 20 seconds is effective in killing germs.
-: For those in self-quarantine or working from a home office, it is important to maintain healthy lifestyle with good nutrition, physical activity and staying away from tobacco and alcohol.
Stepping up its efforts to keep coronavirus pandemic in check, the BMC has formed teams comprising doctors, ASHA workers, teachers andconducting door-to-door visits as a measure to tackle the novel coronavirus pandemic. As part of the community surveillance, BMC teams have visited and conducted more than 92, 000 household surveys. The objective of this exercise is to look for any patients with travel history or similar symptoms, create awareness about coronavirus, dispel myths and make people aware about precautions.
The BMC has arranged over 1520 rooms in 12 paid and 6 free quarantine centres in the city to accommodate people coming from other states and countries as part of measures taken by the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As part of a preventive measure to control the spread of coronavirus, the BMC along with the Odisha Fire Service is carrying out disinfection drives on roads, streets, building exteriors and public places across Bhubaneswar regularly to maintain cleanliness in the city.
The BMC has also set up three reception centres at zonal level for screening of individuals coming to the State Capital and send them to quarantine facilities.
Notably, Bhubaneswar, which reported the State’s first COVID-19 case on March 15 and Odisha’s first corona fatality on April 6. Of the 56 cases reported from the city, 50 have recovered and two persons died.
Welcome address was given by Dr. C.V.S.N. Rao, ADUPHO (Additional District Urban Public Health Officer) and vote of thanks was given by Sri Sarath Chandra Mallick, Additional Deputy Commissioner -1, BMC. Besides, several officials of BMC attended the event.