Coronavirus – lately the topic everywhere. As of today, all of us are aware of the massive global pandemic faced by the entire world. It all started in December 2019, when a pneumonia outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China. On 31 December 2019, the outbreak was traced to a novel strain of coronavirus, which was given the interim name 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organisation(WHO).
The Current Status :
With the days passing by the number of cases are increasing whether in India or worldwide. With the increasing amount of cases around the globe, the respective government are taking enormous steps to take care of the situation. After China, Italy witnessed a major breakdown due to coronavirus. Likewise, USA reported around 4,68,895 confirmed cases and around 16,697 deaths till now and the figure is increasing constantly due to poor management. But as we talk about India, our government is doing every possible effort to keep the situation under control. Our honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has taken a lead to make things work in a positive manner. The Central Government and the State Government are working together effectively to overcome this situation.
The Situation in Rajasthan :
As per the latest information the number of positive cases in Rajasthan has reached 463 with about 6 deaths so far. However, it is claimed that the deaths occurred due to co-morbidity. The highest number of cases in the state are reported in the capital city Jaipur to be around 173.
While the whole Country witnessed the lockdown from 24 March 2020 as a preventive measure against COVID-19, the Rajasthan Government imposed the lockdown from 22 March 2020. It is commendable on part of Rajasthan Govt. to take such serious measures considering the consequences of the situation. The Chief Minister of Rajasthan Mr Ashok Gehlot is working efficiently to deal with the pandemic. The ‘Bhilwara Model’ is one such exemplary work.
The Bhilwara Model – A detailed Analysis :
Bhilwara is a city in the southeastern part of Rajasthan known as the textile town. Bhilwara was among the initial places in India where many coronavirus cases were reported frequently and with such number of cases coming up it was presumed that Bhilwara will be the new hotspot of coronavirus. The first case was reported on March 19, 2020. And in the first few days, only 13 cases were reported and the number reached to 27 cases till March 30. With cases increasing at such pace, it was considered that it would be very difficult for the state to recover from the crisis. However, with immense efforts of District Administration on a continuous basis, the city offers valuable lessons in the war against COVID-19.
A 56-year-old genius mind behind this Model, Collector of Bhilwara Mr Rajesh Bhatt adopted a strategic lockdown to cope up with the situation. As a result, only 2 new cases were reported in the district of Bhilwara till April 2, 2020, and no new cases have been reported since then. Not only this, but 17 patients have also recovered seven are on the road to recovery and 11 already discharged.
How did it all started?
The population of the city is around 4.5 lakhs with the District population totalling to 30 lakhs. The emergence of cases began when the doctors and nurses of Bangar Hospital were found positive. The hospital is one the biggest hospital in the city, which is the major problem since patients came for checkup not only from the district but from other states as well. When contact tracing was done it was found that patients from 5 other states came in the last month before the outbreak. However, efforts were made to trace all the suspicious persons on a fast track basis who came in contact with the affected doctor and nurses. Nearly 6000 people were identified merely in a two day period and were put under isolation.
What is Bhilwara Model?
- Bhilwara Model is nothing but the aggressive strategy adopted by the District Administration of Bhilwara to control the outburst of COVID-19.
- The Health Department and the District Administration in Bhilwara constituted nearly 850 teams and conducted house to house surveys and the reported figure being 56,025 houses and of 2,80,937 people in just 3 days.
- The screening was done to find out all the positive cases as soon as possible.
- A major task was to form the teams of doctors, auxiliary nurse and midwives and nursing students who went to do the house to house surveys.
- The police played an important role in keeping the situation under control.
- By 27 March, 2020 almost 4,35,000 houses and 22,00,000 people were screened. Eventually, the entire population of the district which is almost 30 lakhs was screened.
- Immediate actions were taken to trace persons who came in contact with those who have been tested positive.
- All the patients of the Bangar Hospital were tested from OPD and IPD and those with symptoms of influenza were home quarantined.
- The IAS officer Rajesh Bhatt ordered that two-kilometre-area of any person found COVID-19 positive is sealed and checks are done. These areas are turned into Zero mobility zones. It is made sure that no one enters such areas.
Challenges faced by District Administration
- One of the problems witnessed by the authority was that the source of first coronavirus infection in Bhilwara District was unknown, which led to fears of the community spread that was very hard to control.
- Negligence of people is the major challenge faced by the District Administration. It was the negligence of one person that caused the outbreak. In Bhilwara, the doctor who was found positive continued to see patients despite having an influenza-like illness. From him, the disease got transmitted to so many people.
- Imposing of strict lockdown was a major task since it led to the closure of all establishments. The lockdown caused a lot of trouble to the people. Industries are shut. The economic impact of this is unfathomable.
But with hard work and great teamwork the district administration is trying to overcome the challenges and the utmost important thing right now is to save the lives of people and their efforts are quite praiseworthy.
Efforts to be Praise
In order to break the chain of contamination, various efforts are made by the District Administration with immediate effect. When the first case in Bhilwara came into notice, the Government sealed off the district borders and nobody was allowed to enter the district except those having a government-approved pass. A curfew was imposed in the district with effect from 20 March 2020 and only services which were essential to the public were allowed to remain open. While we are aware with the fact that testing for coronavirus on a national level is not as fast as it should have been, the state of Rajasthan claims that it has screened almost 50 million people and tested around 11.7 million households so far. Whoever having travel history or any contact with positive persons are traced, checked and kept in isolation.
Not only this, but a contingency plan is also worked out in case the conditions worsen at any time. The administration has acquired 42 hospitals with dedicated beds for positive patients, and quarantine with 1,551 beds is prepared at hotels and other such establishments. Places have been identified where if needed, an infrastructure of 10,000-15,000 beds can be developed.
The Magistrate said, the population of the city has been screened at least three times now and people having normal cough and cold due to weather change, who were in thousands, were also checked and surveyed and those having symptoms are put under isolation.
The Idea of Imposing Maha Curfew
The imposition of curfew played a great role in controlling the situation. However, the District Administration transformed the curfew into ‘Maha-Curfew‘ in Bhilwara on 3 April 2020. This version of curfew is way more intense where people are not allowed to leave their houses no matter what.
Key features of Maha Curfew:
- Essential services are provided through a door to door delivery so that people do not suffer from any kind of inadequacy.
- The Government came up with the establishment of control rooms for taking calls from citizens for their well being.
- Rajendra Bhatt, district magistrate, Bhilwara said that the idea of Maha Curfew is step necessary to keep in control the outbreak and bring total COVID-19-free Bhilwara in the coming few days with the screening of people continuing till the number of cases comes to zero.\
The Model an inspiration to all :
Just a few days back, Bhilwara was considered to be the epicentre of Coronavirus and today amidst to its strict lockdown and containment plan and dedicated workforce, it has reported only a single case in past 9 days. The strategy is as such that it should be adopted centrally so as to be able to control the outbreak of the virus in the Country. May be steps are too serious but looking at the situation worldwide such measures are necessary for the welfare of the Nation and its people.
Claps from all over Nation
- In meetings with state government officials, union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, the union cabinet secretary pointed to the Bhilwara example, suggesting this as a possible model to contain the spread of COVID-19. He praised the work done in Bhilwara as an ‘ideal model’ which can be useful in combating the Corona crisis that has now spread to 225 districts in the country.
- Ashok Gehlot ordered that Bhilwara model will be sent to all CMs of the country. The administration has done an excellent job and Bhilwara Collector, Rajiv Bhatt, has prepared a presentation to fight Corona which has all the points which helped in tackling the virus spread in Bhilwara.
- IAS Officer Tina Dabi said the Bhilwara model of extensive screening, testing and complete lockdown should be replicated in other coronavirus hit districts as well.
- Centre decided to implement Bhilwara Model in various Corona Hotspot Points.