Bhilwara's 4 new cases raise Rajasthan total to 36

Source : IANS
Author : IANS
Last Updated: Wed, Mar 25th, 2020, 18:43:34hrs

Jaipur, March 25 (IANS) Bhilwara, the textile city of Rajasthan, is fighting the tough Covid-19 battle with the number of people testing positive reaching 16 on Wednesday, making it the highest count from a single city in the state.

Four new coronavirus positive cases were reported on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases to 36 in the state, said Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh.

While two healthcare personnel tested positive in Bhilwara, the third positive case had been of a person who came in contact with a doctor who tested coronavirus positive, while the fourth was from Jodhpur, Singh said.

Bhilwara was declared the epicentre of Covid-19 in Rajasthan soon after the six healthcare personnel tested Covid-19 positive last week. And since then, the town has been undergoing the largest screening exercise with all its borders sealed and the residents facing curfew for the past five days. Till Tuesday, 13 people had tested positive for Covid-19 here.

Intensive search is being conducted in the city to locate active cases. 300 teams are conducting house-to-house survey on the basis of polio microplans. The second phase of survey will be started soon.

During March 19-24, around 70,000 families were surveyed and over 300,000 people screened in Bhilwara. Over 30 lakh people would be screened till March 27 in the Bhilwara district, said Chief Medical and Health Officer Mushtak Khan.

He said over 38,000 houses had been screened and the remaining 25,000 would be screened in the next two days. The second and third phase of screening would be conducted in areas that reported Covid-19 positive cases, he added.

Calling it a tough process, Khan said potential carriers could have spread all over the district.

Till Tuesday, over 5,000 people had been isolated at home, and 38 were admitted to hospital isolation wards soon after three doctors and nine healthcare workers from the city's Bangad Hospital tested Covid-19 positive.

According to Bhilwara city residents, the spread chain must have begun when a person with breathing issues admitted himself to the hospital, few days back, hiding his travel history.

He then travelled to Jaipur and visited two hospitals. There too his travel history was not checked. He was not tested for coronavirus even after he showed symptoms of pneumonia. He died on March 13.

But the doctor and his team that treated him in Bhilwara didn't share any concern and travelled to Udaipur on Holi. However, a few days after, they isolated themselves. Soon 12 people from Bhilwara tested Covid-19 positive, which included the doctor's wife.

By Tuesday, the administration set up screening centre for all the symptomatic and contacts of the Bangad Hospital, the epicentre of COVID -19 positive cases in Bhilwara.

The contacts included all hospital staff, ICU patients, IPD and OPD patients, and indirect contacts included family members or those with any contact history with Covid-19 positives or suspects.

Rapid response teams (RRT) had been deployed at all the eight urban public health centres, said Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma. The RRTs in Jaipur and Bhilwara are working shift-wise for the sample collection. Four quarantine sites have been identified with 489-bed capacity. Identification of additional sites are in the process to increase the number up to 6,000.

As per the guidelines, all the suspects after sample collection were to be shifted to these sites isolation wards, the Minister said.

However, till the things settle down, citizens will continue to live under curfew in the district. No one is allowed to enter in the city. Raw food packets are being prepared for distribution in slum areas as part of the crisis management.