PR manager in the municipality of Karpoš
If I sublimate seven months back, what we, as a local government, did during the pandemic, I can say briefly: the race against the plague, the battle for health. Back in February-March, we tried to anticipate possible developments in the upcoming pandemic. We started working on prevention in the beginning. Immediately after the formation of the crisis headquarters in our municipality, we started with mass disinfection of public areas, access to public institutions (clinics, post offices …), entrances to collective residential buildings (over 1,000 on seven or eight occasions). Very often, even before the state crisis headquarters announced the restriction measures, we took preventive intervention measures with our clean-up and protection and rescue teams.
This meant the supply of food and hygiene products for citizens at social risk, the elderly and infirm. For this purpose, we formed human patrols together with Red Cross volunteers, as well as police services, in front of large markets. During the quarantine and ban on movement through the municipality’s website, and through all communication channels (FB, Twitter, Instagram) on a daily basis, we gave announcements and instructions to citizens where and whom to turn for help and needs. The municipality issued permits for work in the individual economy online (allowed terms for rural works, beekeeping, etc.), as well as service services, online orders of food and medicine, etc.
Each step taken was timely communicated with citizens both online and offline, through press releases in all 14 urban and local communities in our territory, with the aim that as many residents as possible be informed in a timely manner of all protection measures taken, thus strengthening and a sense of protection and security in times of crisis.
At the same time, in cooperation with the Embassy (Czech Republic), NGOs and other international organizations, we distributed free protective masks and disinfectants in rural and peripheral parts of the municipality. During the summer, we worked preventively on the preparation of the work of educational institutions under the jurisdiction of our municipality: kindergartens and primary schools. We disinfected all 10 kindergartens and prepared online classes for all 10 primary schools. We checked the internet connection, supplied IT equipment to schools, teachers, etc. Finally, to meet the second pandemic wave, we rebalanced the municipal budget to prevent the coming crisis: in some segments we quadrupled the budget for disinfection of public institutions in our jurisdiction at the expense of omitted and non-priority expenditures.
What is finally the most important from the humane and communicative aspect is the message “Closer to the people” which should be sent to all residents of Karpoš that even in such exceptional moments of crisis they are not alone, that someone (their municipality) cares for them. We will get through it all together.