POTENTIAL OF COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION FROM ACROSS BHILWARA TO A MUCH LARGER GEOGRAPHICAL REGION IS HIGH!
Known as the Manchester of India, this textile town, with a population of just over 50 lakh people has been under lockdown for more than a week now.
This was the result of a sudden exodus of positive coronavirus cases in the small and silent but densely crowded town.
The frightening tale dates back to the first week of March, when Coronavirus was a term new to India and known as something that happened in China and some parts of Europe.
It was 5am on 8 March when the Brijesh Bangar Memorial Hospital received a patient, suffering from Pneumonia. He was 52. This patient was examined by a Dr Alok Mittal and his team, and as his condition did not improve, he was sent to Jaipur on 10 March. No travel history was taken and there were another 6 patients in the ICU at this hospital in Bhilwara.
The patient died on 13 March, even after doctors in Jaipur even, failed to test this patient for Coronavirus, which was a a good 2 WEEKS AFTER the Italian tourist and his troupe had reached Jaipur and the Italian couple had tested positive. Did the doctors in Jaipur fail miserably in doing the relevant testing, as even this case was fresh. The doctors in Jaipur conveyed the news of this death to Dr Mittal in Bhilwara.
Doctors then, failed to comprehend the gravity of the situation, as India had already begun to feel the jolt of the outbreak of the COVID-19 outbreak. On 9 March, a day after the patient was checked in at the BBMH in Bhilwara, Dr Mittal and his team checked into a Club Mahindra resort in Udaipur, for a Holi outing. Little did they know of what lay in store for them, On reaching Bhilwara and receiving the news of the death of the patient on 13 March, Dr Mittal and his immediate team checked into self isolation in a government hospital in Bhilwara. More joined them in isolation. A couple of days later 12 people including Dr Mittal, tested positive for COVID-19. All hell broke loose in Bhilwara as the Bangar hospital was famous in town and many patients had got their consultation done in the OPD subsequent to 8 March. Dr Mittal himself had seen many of them.
People of Bhilwara panicked and authorities moved fast. The hospital was sealed. All patients moved to a safer location and tested as well.
What India did in the last week, Bhilwara had done earlier. Its borders were sealed. Even its neighboring towns sealed all entry and exit points to Bhilwara. There was to be no movement at all. As of today, Bhilwara has 17 positive cpases. All are recovering well as per reports. But this will not stop here. Reason - Dr Mittal and his infected team of 2 additional doctors and 9 health workers, saw a total of nearlly 6,000 patients between them. The patients belonged to over a dozen districts in Rajasthan and 39 patients belonging to other states.
Rumours that have been going around in the city have been quashed, but fear runs high. 300 teams are looking at checking each of the 78000 houses in the town. The Survey is expected to have ended on 25 March and the results will be out. Houses were surveyed for symptomatic residents, foreign travel history, or if they have been in contact with those who were tested positive. Honesty in response will go a long way in determining whether the final diagnosis of the situation is correct.
THE POTENTIAL OF COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION FROM ACROSS BHILWARA TO A MUCH LARGER GEOGRAPHICAL REGION IS HIGH!