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Covid-19, Bhilwara Model: A Small Town Model, Making A Name Everywhere!

Since the onset of the deadly virus, we have realised that the power nations actually don’t have enough power. The number of cases in these nations is soaring high and the death rate is also large. People there didn’t stop the pace of their life with the coming up of this virus. India has also reported quite a number of covid-19 positive cases but the ratio with comparison to the power nations is quite less. Some districts in India are doing very well and are acting as the role model for others.

Even a small district can make a change. The model which was followed by Bhilwara is appreciated and not the model followed by the US or any other huge nation.

Bhilwara in Rajasthan is one of the most popular textile hubs of the country. It was one of the most affected areas of the virus. But since the past fifteen days, it has shown immense signs of recovery and is restoring itself completely. The model adopted by them was the “Bhilwara Model”.

The ‘Bhilwaramod involves a strict lockdown, followed by a stricter curfew aimed at ruthlessly containing the virus spread and a dedicated team of medical and administrative officials leaving no stone unturned to prevent Bhilwara from becoming another hotspot. In Bhilwara, more than 22 lakh people were screened, many of them more than once.

The popular town reported the first case on march 19,2020 and quickly became a hotspot with 27 cases in the district. Doctors started testing positive along with a few nurses. Within three days of the first positive case, by March 22, the Health Department and the district administration in Bhilwara constituted nearly 850 teams and conducted house-to-house surveys at 56,025 houses and of 2,80,937 people. Nearly 2,250 people were identified to be suffering from influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms and were kept in home quarantine. Extensive contact tracing was also carried out of those patients who tested positive, with the Health Department preparing detailed charts of all the people whom they had met since being infected.

A list of 498 people from five states — Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat — was compiled by March 22. These were patients who had visited the hospital for treatment since the time when the staff got infected. This district was a major threat to the entire state as the speed at which the virus was spreading here was huge. Official documents show that in the next five days — between March 22 and 27 — 4.35 lakh houses and 22 lakh people of Bhilwara, which has an estimated population of 30 lakh, were surveyed.

Soon after Rajasthan’s border was sealed in order to curb the inflow of people, many of whom could be carriers of the virus.  After seeing the large number of positive cases, the government was shocked and decided to take some strict measures. The district administration took over four private hospitals and 27 hotels with 1,541 rooms. These strict measures started being favourable as the town stopped the virus breeding and no new cases were found for a few days. Of its total 27 cases, 17 have already recovered since then, bringing the number of active cases in Bhilwara at just ten, including two deaths (due to comorbidities), eleven patients discharged while another seven are recovering quickly.

After seeing the rapid recovery rate in this small town, people started calling this model, Bhilwara Model and cabinet secretary, Rajiv Gauba, recently urged states to adopt the ‘Bhilwara model’ in their efforts to contain the community spread of COVID-19.

Even though the plan was a total success, the district’s collector and magistrate, who is also the mind behind this strategy of aggressively containing the virus, Rajendra Bhatt, hasn’t declared Bhilwara free from the virus right now, he hasn’t declared victory over the virus saying that the future can’t be predicted.. He says, “I think we have to wait until 1 May to be sure that we’ve completely eliminated the virus. I want that three cycles of isolation, testing and quarantining should be complete before we can claim victory.” Asserting that the ‘Bhilwara model’ is “no rocket science,” he credits the district’s success to the collective efforts of his juniors and seniors, thus, ensuring smooth functioning of administrative functions and their implementation on the ground.

The model isn’t a very tough one. It is just aggressive and strict. People need to adhere to all the rules and regulations. There must not be any rule breakers. The authorities need to step up and ace their game as they are the most important implementers of this model.

It is proved that the only way to escape the virus is by staying at home and maintain social distancing. This is the time to implement and to take correct actions. The government must act strictly and take charge in situations like these. People violating the norms must be fined and looked down upon. They are the enemies of the nation, the carriers of the virus and the biggest problem in todays time.

This is probably the first time in the history when the citizens can protect their country by staying at home.

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