Jabalpur went into a lockdown four days before the rest of India did that is on 24 March. Schools, colleges, bus stations and markets were closed just as soon as the first case came forward on 20 March. Setting an example of truly remarkable inter-departmental coordination, Jabalpur district magistrate Bharat Yadav and superintendent of police Amit Singh imposed strict ban on activities, coupling it with a carefully curated economic support strategy.
Jabalpur’s Integrated Command and Control Centre was turned into a ‘corona war room’ with more than 100 operators answering calls on dedicated helpline numbers that were set up for any early reports of potential symptoms. It is to the merit of this containment planning that Jabalpur became an exception in Madhya Pradesh with no rise in coronavirus cases for about two weeks.
Jabalpur administration turned the ‘work from home’ policy into a ‘produce from home’ policy with self-help groups and the city’s garment clusters being made to timely manufacture and supply masks. Under this ‘produce from home’ initiative, the National Rural Livelihood Mission self-help groups supplied more than 70,000 masks so far. This ensured a much-needed continued source of income and helped close the demand supply gap of masks in the Jabalpur district. Efforts are now underway to better the district’s mask production capacity to reach at least ten times the current capacity.