Bhilwara has been dubbed a ‘textile city’ in Rajasthan, and its 250 km away from the state’s capital Jaipur. Currently, the textile city of India has been in the news for setting the perfect example of how to fight against novel coronavirus.
First case rings the alarm bell
The first COVID-19 case in Bhilwara was detected on March 19; back then, the city feared that it might become the country’s major epicentre for the eruption of deadly viral disease. It was a testing time for the Bhilwara administration, medical staff and local administration. But they kept their nerves, stood united against the challenge and decided to defeat the COVID-19 together in a planned manner, which was found lacking even in the developed nations worldwide.
Shut down district
The District Magistrate of Bhilwara, Rajendra Bhatt, along with some determined individuals, played a significant role. Three days before the announcement of the nationwide lockdown by the Union government, the DM of Bhilwara issued a notice to shut down all industries (small or big) brick kilns and other establishments where more than ten workers were working. The administration contacted the district industrial in charge and asked them to pay a partial wage to workers.
Section 144 imposed
The Rajasthan government had ordered to impose Section 144 on March 19 in several districts of the state after a couple who returned from Italy were found infected with COVID-19 in Jaipur.
Preparation before emergency
The administration banned all the public transports and urged all hotels to keep five rooms reserved for the use of district medical personnel. Resort owners were also asked to give 20 rooms to officials so that they can use them in medical emergencies. The COVID-19 cases in Bhilwara were on a spike on March 21; several positive cases in the state came into light. Some of the infected patients were admitted to the local Brijesh Bangar Memorial Hospital.
Chart for every zone
Local officials of the district got a notice on March 22 to draw a chart for every zone in Bhilwara and make an arrangement to supply necessary items for households with immediate effect. Seeing the rise in the number of cases, the police on March 23 sealed the borders strictly to prevent the city from the community transmission of COVID-19.
Facility of quarantine centre
Meanwhile, the administration ordered the supply of furniture, tents and drinking water and other necessary items near the police check post. The district administration arranged quarantine facilities with 6,000 beds at various destinations. Many educational hostels were turned as the quarantine centre.
Record of patients
The situation turned severe by March 25 as 19 cases were reported in which the majority were medical professionals. Over 63 patients were getting treatment in the hospital; some of them tested positive. The records of all 63 patients were taken. However, the medical team was asked to rush to get in touch with the families of all the 63 patients across the district.
Door to door survey
The families of the infected patients were identified and tested. With the effort of administration and medical staff, more than 6,000 people had been tested by March 26. They were asked to go for self-quarantine, and some of them were admitted to the nearby hospitals. The administration had taken some of the private hospitals in its control. Then the administration started the first door to door survey on March 28.
Screening takes place
The name, address and symptoms such as cough, fever, cold and breathing problems were mentioned in the survey list. The administration had asked to go for another round of the survey. During the second survey, screening exercises took place. These were conducted on those who were identified in the first list along with their families with some symptoms of COVID-19.
Defeat of COVID-19
The screening exercise completed within 24-hour. Overall, 2,000 expert teams worked day and night, and they had screened almost 92 per cent of the population of the entire district. At last, with the cooperation of the people and extraordinary work of district administration and the medical team, they had defeated COVID-19.
DM requests for cooperation
Rajendra Bhatt, the district collector of Bhilwara, said, “The people have cooperated with the administration till now. I would request them to keep up the cooperation for another ten days and not step out of their homes.” At the same time, almost 3,900 ‘helpless and homeless people’ in urban and rural areas were identified and provided shelter and food.
Not a single case has been detected in Bhilwara since March 28. Patients are gradually returning to their homes after the cure. Bhilwara model should be applied in every part of the country, as it has proven to be a successful model and needs to be replicated.