Rajasthan inspires how to break COVID-19 transmission chain

New Delhi: Bhilwara, once considered as one of the epicentres of COVID-19, is coming back on track after concerted efforts at various levels.

Over 22 lakhs families from the villages and nearly 10 lakh households in the city are testes in the city by now.

The first case in Rajasthan was reported on March 2, 2020 and strict actions were taken in the state on the very first day. “Nearly 5 crore people have been screened and 1 crore 17 lakh household have been tested till now. Things were also controlled with imposition of curfew and today, 34 places are under curfew in Rajasthan,” said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

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Around 2 km area of a person found COVID-19 positive is sealed and checks are done. Today, out of total number of positives in Rajasthan, nearly 30-32 are the evacuees from Iran at Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. People with travel history or any contact with positive patients are being isolated and checked. The only worry is of people who are coming out positive and have no history of either travel or contact. “Officials of the Central government are in touch with the Chief Secretary and they mention Bhilwara whenever they have video conferencing. We sealed the borders the day we got to know about the case of the doctor being positive with the virus in Bhilwara and it is becoming a learning ground after the commendable efforts,”  Gehlot said, adding, ”Around 22 lakhs families from villages, nearly 10 lakh households in the city were tested and that’s how Bhilwara is today an example in the fight against COVID-19 in India.”

To break the chain of transmission, nearly 6,000 people were identified and put under isolation in only two days. The struggle just began as patients of almost 19 districts and 4 states were in the hospital when a sudden rise of positive patients was reported.

Every single individual was put in strict isolation and a curfew was imposed within 15 minutes on strict orders without harming the supply of food & other essentials. CLG members, community leaders, and religious gurus were approached and appealed to motivate the public to stay home. Initiatives were launched, appealing videos were made and few unwanted social elements faced legal action too. Nearly 600 vehicles have also been seized.

Following the efforts, the city is now having 17 recoveries with 11 discharged. “We are now on a war-footing level and working in a six-part process beginning with the imposition of curfew, coordination work of police surveying colonies where the visitors of Bangar Hospital, where it all began, might be staying,” said Harendra Mahawar, SP, Bhilwara. He further added, more than 5,000 people were listed who were consulted by the COVID-19 positive doctor of Bangar Hospital. Patients of IPD and OPD were also screened.

Team of healthcare officials led by Chief Medical & Health Officer Dr Mushtaq Khan did a commendable job followed by tremendous efforts from the local administration and other staff.  Dr Mushtaq Khan, CMHO stated, “We worked parallely on precaution and treatment, both were done together to control the outbreak. The main task was to identify the relatives of the first patient and isolate them. I would say that it was done on a war-footing level and everything got under control at the right time.” Adding further, “We are regularly tracking the patients even after we release them. As of now, 11 patients have been discharged after three negative reports of each one of them. People trusted us, they supported us and with efforts from both the sides, today Bhilwara is standing strong and lockdown has played a major role in breaking the chain of transmission.”

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