When the whole country is grappling with the threat of infection from COVID-19, Bhilwara of Rajasthan has shown a ray of hope that if some urgent actions are taken during the lockdown, situation can be normalized.
Only fifteen days ago, this district of Rajasthan was feared to become one of the dangerous hotspots of Coronavirus infection. Now, the threat seems to have subsided to a great extent.
Although a positive case came to light this Saturday after the interval of five days, but the danger and panic that gripped the city on March 19 has reduced significantly.
March 19, when panic spreads in the region
Before March 19, everything was normal in Bhilwara. But a news coming from Jaipur shook the whole district. A man died in Jaipur. The man was suspected to be infected with COVID-19. What was the Bhilwara connection with this news? Well, he underwent treatment in Bhilwara from 8 March to 14 March.
He was undergoing treatment at Brajesh Bangar Memorial Hospital in the district for respiratory disease. Dr. Alok Mittal treated him there. The patient did not inform the doctor about his recent visit to UAE.
When the condition of that patient worsened, he was sent to Jaipur.
On March 19, it was reported that he was COVID-19 positive, and his death was first in the state from this disease.
The news alarmed the authority at the Brajesh Bangar Memorial Hospital. Dr. Mittal is among the popular doctors of Bhilwara and his team examined more than five thousand people. This information reached district administration. Without any delays, he was sent into isolation. District magistrate Rajendra Prasad Bhatt took stock of the situation same day at 11 PM.
And thus started operation Bhilwara.
Isolating The District
- Epicenter’s Containment Zone & Buffer Zone turned into
- ‘No-Movement’ zone in the city.
- COVID positive cases – cluster mapping was done.
- Six areas were identified and special teams were deployed for continuous screening of suspected cases.
Disinfection Strategy: followed on a daily basis for: Containment zone & Buffer zone; Locality of positive cases; All ambulances and police vehicles; Screening centre and quarantine centres; Collectorate, Police line & other public dealing offices; City Wards
Quarantine and Isolation Wards
Quarantine Centre/ Home Quarantine: 27 Hotels acting as quarantine centres with 1541 rooms; At present 950 persons are in quarantine centre; At present 7620 persons are in home quarantine
Institutional Quarantine: 22 Institutions/Hostels with a capacity of 11,659 beds; Dedicated COVID Hospital; MG District hospital having capacity of 200 beds which can be expanded up to 427 beds.
Private Hospitals: 4 Private hospitals have been acquired with isolation ward capacity of 25 beds each
- Door to door supply of essential groceries.
- Door to door supply of fruits and vegetables.
- Door to door supply of milk by Saras dairy
- Distribution of raw food packets & cooked food packets to the poor and needy.
- Complete shut down of industries, factories & brickkilns across the district.
- Fodder for stray cattle is being distributed.
- 24×7 Control rooms have been established at the Collectorate, CMHO Office, DSO, UIT, Nagar parishad and at Sub Divisional level.
Talking to the journalists, DM Rajendra Prasad Bhatt said that when he came to know about the seriousness of the matter, he had no other option but to take extreme measures without losing time.
He had formed six teams. The first team was set up to survey every household in the village and city. The other team was asked to look after the medical care and the responsibility of conducting an investigation.
The third team consisting of policemen was asked to implement the lock down strictly, the fourth team was entrusted with the responsibility of transporting essential items from door to door, the fifth team was asked to spread awareness across the district. He said that nobody is being allowed to leave their homes, and all essential things including vegetables, milk, ration are being delivered to their home by the authority.
And, situation now is under control in the district. Bhilwara district has an important lesson for entire India: “Ruthless containment is the key to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in any city”.