Ruthless Containment Model - How Bhilwara fought the Corona Community Spread

Ruthless Containment Model - How Bhilwara fought the Corona Community Spread

This is an excerpt of a story shared by Radio City, with UdaipurTimes
Ruthless Containment Model - How Bhilwara fought the Corona Community Spread

What was the Model followed by Bhilwara in its fight against COVID-19?

Who was the Hero behind this Master Plan?

With 27 Positive Cases, Bhilwara is sitting on the third rung when it comes to COVID positive cases in Rajasthan.  But this was not the case a week ago, when the world was watching Bhilwara as the cases exploded exponentially and the textile city was being touted as the Italy of India.

However, with exemplary administrative control and leadership skills exercised by the city administration, government hospitals, police and of course, the support of the people, the number of positive cases in the city is on downslide.  Who is the hero behind this achievement.  In an exclusive interview with RJ Suri of Radio City, Rajendra Bhatt, Collector of Bhilwara discussed the model and the approach which made it possible for the city to get this far.

Rajendra Bhatt, Collector of Bhilwara and the face behind the Bhilwara containment model, told RJ Suri from Radio City, that over 75,000 tests in the city and over 22 lakh screenings in the rural population of the city permitted this change in status for the city.  He said that Bhilwara established and executed the Ruthless Containment Model effectively to contain the Community Spread, which was lurking dangerously within and near the borders of the city.  Rajendra Bhatt was helped in this exploit by his very able team, led by 26 year old Tina Dabi, an IAS Officer and SDM at Bhilwara.

The Ruthless Containment model is made up of a series of executable elements, which are as follows:

  1. Isolation of the district...Cutting of the district from other nearby areas. This was the first phase of implementing the Ruthless Containment Model.  This was implemented after Brijesh Banger Memorial Hospital (BBMH) was identified as the epicentre of the disease as it was a doctor from the hospital who had tested positive and the team led by Tina Dabi took a decision to seal off the district. It was not an easy decision to implement as the ground level difficulties were staring the administration on their face.  However, the team stood strong and took staff and residents into confidence before executing their decision.
  2. Mapping of Hotspots... This is the procedure of identifying the areas where those tested positive reside OR have been to, after contracting the infection.  A 1km radius is isolated as a containment area, where no movement is allowed at all.  A 3km area beyond the 1km area is identified as the buffer zone, where shops are completely closed and a curfew is implemented.   The initial days were a challenge, as essential services needed to be delivered panic calls needed to be attended. The execution was done smoothly after the team reached out to people and built confidence around their plan.  Tina Dabi, in a media interview said that this was the biggest learning experience in the beginning of her career that will help her in the long run.
  3. Aggresive Screening.... The next step is to screen homes within the city premises and across the upcountry rural areas to ensure that the initial symptomatic cases are immeidately tested. 75000 homes in Bhilwara were screened three times. 22 lakh people in 4 lakh houses in the rural areas were screened once.
  4. Combing Isolation... The screening activity is followed by close combing. That is, identifying those with ILE symptom, i.e. cough, cold, fever and assessing the need for immeidate treatment and home quarantine, innstitutional quarantine or isolation.
  5. Aggresive Contact Tracing...Those with ILE symptoms and positive tested samples are questioned and their movements or travel are recorded. This enables contact tracing,i.e. identfying and screening those whom they have come in contact with after the possible date of contracting the infection.
  6. Isolation and Quarantine wards... Setting up of isolation and quarantine wards in large numbers to meet any growing demand for such facilities in case the infection spreads inspite of the execution of the above 5 portions of Ruthless Containment Model.

The administration, under the guidance of Bhatt and Tina, set up home quarantine for 16000 people across the city and villages.  Teachers and officers of government departments were identified in each of the areas where Home Quarantine was in place, and were directed to play the role of "Corona Fighters".  These Corona Fighters, ensured that the requirements of those in home quarantine were met immediately, so that they did not need to leave their homes.  The Corona Fighters reported their daily assessments to the Corona Captains who was the SDM and BDOs of the respective blocks.  The Corona Captains then reported to the Corona Commanders at the Collectors office.

This participatorty mode is being looked at across India as the model of choice when it comes to any part of the nation needing to restrict a community spread.

Bhat, in his interaction with Suri, also said that the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot was regularly monitoring the proceedings in Bhilwara and anything that they need was being acceded to regularly and immediately.  Sealing the district, restricting the movement of buses and rails, etc was implemented with dramatic swiftness with the help of the state government, much before the lockdown was implemented across Rajasthan.

Bhilwara totalled to 27 positive cases, of which 22 are treated and virus free.  2 died under treatment and 3 are still in isolation.  Of the 22 who are now free of the virus, 15 have been sent home, which 7 are still under institutional quarantine.

Bhilwara's model in its fight against Coronavirus has been hailed by the State government as well as the Indian government is being touted a the model of choice to be used in other places for the containment of the infection.

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