When the going gets tough, the tough get going. When a crisis is as big as the Chinese coronavirus, we need taskmasters as strong as Yogi Adityanath. Yogi is leading Uttar Pradesh like a CEO in the last three years and his exemplary leadership against the coronavirus pandemic proves it again. In the last video conferencing with Chief Ministers on the pandemic, PM Narendra Modi especially praised the UP-Model. Let us understand what the UP Model for fighting coronavirus is? And what other states can learn from UP.
Swift and strict action
Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India, with high population density and that makes the coronavirus attack event more challenging for UP. Even before the national lockdown was declared on 25th March, 16 districts of UP were locked down from 23rd to 25th March. In any district where more than 6 positive COVID cases were found, hot spots were identified and those areas were locked up completely. The whole area around the hotspots is barricaded, with ways to go in and out only for the essential services staff – for health workers, sanitation workers and delivery staff. Medicines, Vegetables, Milk, Groceries etc were supplied at the door step, to enable complete lockdown. One Magistrate and Police officer is assigned to each hotspot area.
In the hotspot regions, each and every house and the whole area is meticulously disinfected through a medicinal spray using fire-brigade vehicles. All the people who came in primary and secondary contact of the coronavirus patient(s) in the hotspot area are tested. Anyone who flouts the lockdown in a hotspot area is penalised under section-188. Anyone who takes his or her vehicle out, the vehicle gets confiscated after a challan. Details of every household and every resident of the hotspot area is maintained. The whole process is being followed for 14 days and will be extended further if any more COVID cases are found in that area.
Yogi government, known for this strong grip on the law and order, has warned of strict action including jail for those who do not cooperate in the state’s efforts to control the novel Coronavirus outbreak and spread misinformation or rumours to create panic in the society. Six Tablighi Jamaat-linked persons were booked under NSA for misbehaving with nurses in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad. Masks have been made mandatory. Anyone who steps out of the house will have to wear a mask or cover their face.
Testing and treatment infrastructure
Testing is one the crucial steps in defeating the coronavirus spread. UP started with just 1 coronavirus testing lab and very within a short time state has developed 9 testing labs and 5 more labs will be commissioned soon. Other areas are connecting to these labs through collection centers. Starting from only 100 COVID-19 tests a day, now UP has rapidly geared up to test 2500 samples a day. Infact, now UP has obtained clearance from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to start “pool testing”, becoming the first in the country to attempt this method which aims at expediting the testing process for the coronavirus.
The ICMR has permitted the state to start pool testing. In this method, multiple swab samples are pooled together and tested. If the result of a collection of samples comes negative, then that means all the samples in that group are negative. However, if any sample is found positive, then each of those samples is tested individually. Now, the state has 78 level-1 coronavirus hospitals, 64 level-2 hospitals and 6 level-3 hospitals. The state has 9442 isolation beds, 12119 quarantine beds and 931 ventilator beds. State is continuously innovating and daily increasing its capacity on all these fronts.
Protective gear for the health workers, Masks, Sanitizers and Ventilators are four crucial items for the war against coronavirus. The Yogi Government is ensuring that all the production units in the state producing protective gear for coronavirus are being run, with necessary precautions. State has 50 such units for producing PPE and Face Masks, out of which 48 are operational and other 2 will be made active soon. 40 new units for producing sanitizers were given permissions and now 99 sanitizer units are active in the state. In Noida, AgVa Healthcare in Joint Venture with Maruti Suzuki has developed a monthly capacity of producing 10 thousand ventilators.
Welfare and financial assistance
Strict lockdown undoubtedly is one of the major solutions at hand today to fight against the Chinese virus. But lockdown is also coming heavy on the people who earn their living by the day. Yogi government has taken series of actions to provide a strong safety net to all such sections of the population. Direct Cash transfer of Rs 1000 each is already been done in the bank accounts of 12.25 Lac registered construction workers in Uttar Pradesh. In urban areas, online cash transfer of Rs 1000 each is done to more than 4 Lac street vendors, auto-rickshaw drivers, e-rickshaw drivers and other daily wage earners and in rural areas Rs 1000 online cash transfer is done to more than 2.86 Lac destitute people.
In addition to that, the Yogi government has ensured that the labour forces of more than 28,933 factories in the state are being paid their salaries by their employers. More than 86 Lac beneficiaries of old-age pension, Divyang pension and destitute pension were given two months of advance pension of the new financial year, amounting to Rs 871 crores in total. Ration was distributed to 2.73 Crore ration card holders including 91 lacs beneficiaries in the free ration category. Payment for 27.15 lac MNREGA workers amounting to Rs 611 crore were transferred online to their accounts. These quick cash transfers are being possible only because of the Jan-Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile (JAM) trinity promoted and established by PM Narendra Modi despite huge resistance in the last 6 years. Today it’s proving to be a Sanjivani Booti in the adverse times.
Managing health services
To strengthen and monitor the health services in the state and provide relief to the affected people, eleven different high-level committees are formed. Senior police and administrative officers are assigned different states to resolve problems of residents of Uttar Pradesh stuck in those states. Helpline at the CM office is constantly in touch with Gram Sarpanch and Municipal Corporators throughout the state, to get regular feedback of the ground situation. Yogi Adityanath does not fail to do a daily follow up with the heads of each of these task forces, before closing the day’s business.
While keeping the tap on the current situation, Yogi has a constant eye on the future for the state. Yogi is looking to woo disenchanted multinational companies looking to shift their manufacturing bases away from China in the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak.
He has directed top bureaucrats at the industrial development and MSME department to work out a special package, which could be offered to such companies in addition to the existing incentives already in place to attract private sector investment.
Yogi government in 3 years
CM Yogi has earned many difficult victories for Uttar Pradesh on the governance front in the last three years. To name a few – Yogi Adityanath has massively overhauled Public Distribution System (PDS) in Uttar Pradesh by connecting Ration Cards with Aadhar cards of 14.5 Crore beneficiaries and providing POS system to ration Shops. Yogi has made UP transport corporation profitable by meticulously expanding the services to new routes, exploiting technology to its fullest, cracking down on unsafe and un-authorized private bus services, saving on expenditure, tapping effectively on non-fare revenue and providing a quality experience to the passengers.
To educationists’ surprise, Yogi has strongly vouched for ‘learning outcomes’ along with school infrastructure for UP’s primary education. Through its Sabko Bijli, Paryapt Bijli and Nirbadh Bijli’, Yogi has massively overhauled the power infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh. Even after a series of exemplary governance initiatives, many of Yogi’s critics did not give him a breathing space in the last three years. But with his robust planning and execution of Uttar Pradesh’s strong action against COVID, even his ardent detractors are praising Yogi Adityanath and saying that in a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, the states need a taskmaster like Yogi Adityanath.