When it comes to disease upsurge, cities are a big part of the issue. Today, approximately 4 billion people live in cities, which is roughly over half of the world's population. It is not just global cities that are a risk of Covid-19, but also secondary cities and relatively smaller urban hubs as well. Cities also play a central role in preparing for mitigating and adapting to pandemics. While the worst-hit countries are western Europe and the US, the numbers even in the Asian cities are increasing day by day.
Not surprisingly, cities with robust governance and health infrastructure in place are in a better position to manage pandemics and lower case fatality rates (CFR) and excess mortality than those that do not. Adopting a combination of proactive surveillance, routine communication, rapid isolation and personal and community protection (e.g. social distancing) measures is critical.
In India, Kerala’s attempts to tackle the disease have won the state government praise from other states and countries. The rest of India, including the Centre, would do well to learn from Kerala’s epidemic management efforts so far in the Covid-19 pandemic.
In view of this, The Smart Cities Council India (SCCI) is organizing a webinar on ‘How Asian Cities are coping with Covid-19: Lessons from Asian Cities’ on April 23, 2020.
The session will be moderated by Pratap Padode, Founder and Director, Smart Cities Council India. Panelists include: Kok-Chin Tay (KC), Chairman, Smart Cities Network; Vikash Chandra, Smart City & PPP Expert, Smart Cities Mission; Manojit Bose, Smart City Expert, Smart City Pune; Yudhistira Nugraha, Head, Jakarta Smart City Office; and Dr Sunil Dubey, Adjunct Faculty - University of Sydney, Institutional Advisor - Urban Innovation & Smart Cities.