East Siang, Arunachal Pradesh:
During the COVID-19 shutdown, Delhi police collected Rs 11 crore in penalties for a different rule infringement. The collected fine is paid to the government's treasury. However, district authorities in East Siang, Arunachal Pradesh, are making innovative use of the Rs 3.24 lakh gathered.
The local administration, led by District Collector Dr Kinny Singh, has established "COVID Care Banks using funds collected from COVID violators. " "We saw that the second wave of COVID-19 had a major impact on rural India. When we started mass testing in the district, we found that several residents had tested positive," said Dr Singh.
Despite the fact that many of the other residents tested positive for COVID-19, the good news was that they were all asymptomatic or had a mild form. This meant that the great majority of those who tested positive could be isolated at home.
"However, we realised that since these homes did not even have thermometers, staying in home isolation and monitoring their vitals would be a difficult task. This was one of the reasons why we started the COVID Care Banks," says Dr Singh.
"In smaller districts, the connection that residents have with their circle office [tehsil office] is very strong. The administrative officers in the circle office are also involved in monitoring those who have tested COVID-19 positive," Dr Singh added.
As a result, it was determined that the care banks would be established in these circular offices.
During one of the weekly meetings, it was decided that these offices would be used to stock up on medical supplies and allow people to borrow and use these resources for the duration of their home isolation. She goes on to clarify that the equipment may be borrowed for free and returned after the patients' test negative.
This concept was proposed at a weekly review meeting of the district COVID core committee, according to Dr Singh, who notes that this group was formed to keep track of the number of patients, vaccination drives, and other COVID-19-related concerns in the area. "We were able to act swiftly on this because of how clued in the circle officers have been with their own unit," she says.
The goal, she explains, is to establish a circular office institution where people, businesses, and organisations may come forward and lend equipment as well.
"As of now we have Vision IAS, a coaching institute for civil service aspirants, who have come forward to help in procuring the oxygen concentrators. We urge others who are in a position to help to do the same," she says.
Dr Singh talks about the COVID-19 breaches that resulted in the money collection, "About 80 per cent of the violations were related to not wearing a mask and public spitting was a close second. The fine amount collected for both these offences is Rs 500 per person."
Currently, there are 159 active cases in East Siang.
"Using the fine money to implement this initiative was made possible because of the timely authorisation by the State Government," says Dr Singh.
Dr. Kinny Singh is sure that with 90 percent of the people over the age of 45 inoculated with the first dose, the overall eligible population will be vaccinated shortly.