District Officials’ Public Image of Being “Impartial” Makes Nuh In Haryana, Country’s Most Backward District, Covid-19 Free

Haryana's one of the most illiterate district, which also does not have even a basic health infrastructure, has successfully waged one of the most tough but successful wars against COVID-19 in Haryana.

Around a month ago, Nuh district of Haryana topped charts in number of COVID-19 positive cases owing to the second highest influx of attendees of Tablighi Jamaat conference in Nizamuddin. Now, it has been declared Covid-19 free.

Haryana’s one of the most illiterate district, which also does not have even a basic health infrastructure, has successfully waged one of the most tough but successful wars against COVID-19 in Haryana. What Nuh has done is better than the efforts made by the resource-rich districts like Faridabad and Gurgaon.

With five patients in Mewat Medical College’s isolation ward testing negative and being released on Saturday, Nuh now has no active cases. It is the first district in Delhi’s neighbourhood without any Covid patients in hospitals now.

According to the Times of India report, the district has seen 65 cases so far. It reported its first case on April 3, and a person last tested positive on May 17.

“As per the numbers on Saturday, we have no active cases in Nuh. However, we will continue to monitor the situation as things might change any day,” said Nuh chief medical officer Virender Singh.

Nuh’s challenge to combat Covid-19 was different as this district also happens to be a Muslim-dominated region. More than one-fourth of the State’s active COVID-19 cases in the second week of April were linked to the Markaz event held in Nizamuddin, Delhi.

What compounded the matter further was the complete lack of faith by local people in the government agencies. Local people had opposed the district administration’s vaccination drive. Not so recently,  the district had erupted in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Hence, any preventive action against Covid patients or any attempt to put those people who cane into contact with them, could be another potential flashpoint.

However, what saved the situation was the reputation of Mr Pankaj, Deputy Commissioner of Nuh, who has completed almost two years in the district, and Additional Deputy Commissioner Vikram, and their understanding of the local sentiments.

According to the Times Of India’s report, the district administration conducted intensive contact tracing of people who tested positive for Covid. About 629 people found to be in contact with patients were put in self-isolation. Besides, 5,477 people were put under surveillance, out of which 2,839 have completed the surveillance period. Five people are in home quarantine.

Not having a single case till the end of March, Nuh saw a sudden spurt soon after the religious congregation in the Capital and topped the State’s COVID-19 tally with 38 cases on April 9, reported The Hindu. The administration responded quickly to the emerging situation realising its gravity to “trace” 655 Tablighi members, including 50-odd foreign nationals, within 48 hours after the Nizamuddin episode hit the headlines.

But the administration, going against the protocol, allowed the maulanas escorted visits inside the centres and to talk to the under-treatment Tablighis to assure them they were not in “custody”.

Mr. Vikram, a 2014-batch IAS officer, says that close coordination of all district departments and ensuring the participation of the locals in the form of “Theekri Pehras” inside the containment zones has been another highlight of the “Nuh model”.

Nuh’s Deputy Commissioner Pankaj told the Hindu, the district officials’ public image of being “impartial”, “transparency in dealing with the situation” and the “prompt action” are the cornerstones of their multi-pronged approach to tackle the crisis.”

(This is the ninth part of the special series on Government officials role in combating the Covid 19. Click to read the full series.)

(If you have a good story about a government officer combating the Covid 19 pandemic through innovative approach, please share with us at [email protected])

Facebook Comments