Coronavirus | Village in Maharashtra’s Uran flattens the curve with 99% recoveries

Door to door: Karanja, which has eight pada s and a population of around 10,000, had reported 134 cases.

Door to door: Karanja, which has eight pada s and a population of around 10,000, had reported 134 cases.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Navi Mumbai has reported more than 4,000 COVID-19 cases, with a recovery rate of around 57%. But in the adjoining Uran, one village has managed to bring its recovery rate to 99.2%, with only one patient currently under treatment.

Karanja village, which has eight padas and a population of around 10,000, had reported as many as 134 cases. Now, the sole active patient is likely to be discharged in the next four days. Officials credit the achievement to coordinated efforts between revenue officials, police, and teachers and doctors, to screen residents and simultaneously ensure strict enforcement of the lockdown.

On April 24, a 59-year-old woman from the village, who was on dialysis treatment for six years, died at her residence. On May 4, her husband (65) passed away.

“It can’t be confirmed if the deaths were due to COVID-19 as neither of them had been tested or had consulted a doctor for any symptoms. The family has a fishing business, and members regularly visited the fish market. Besides, the woman visited hospital regularly for dialysis,” Dattatrey Nawale, sub-divisional officer, Panvel, said.

Hundreds of residents had attended the man’s funeral, and on May 8, the first COVID-19 case in the village surfaced from the family of the deceased. Through contact tracing, authorities identified 22 cases in the family.

“All 22 people stayed in a two-storey building. After the death of the 65-year-old man, we started testing the family,” Bhausaheb Andhare, Uran tehsildar, said.

By May 13, the number of COVID-19 cases in the village had reached 95, and it gradually rose to 134. “The biggest challenge was to get people tested and quarantined. In many cases, people had to be forced by the police to get tested,” Mr. Andhare said.

Around 200 people, including teachers and doctors, were divided into 25 teams, who went house to house to screen residents and find symptomatic villagers. Around 40 people from the revenue department, including a tehsildar, six nayab tehsildars, clerks, talathis and mandal officers, coordinated with the teams from a COVID-19 control room set up at the Uran taluka office.

The teams made sure the lockdown was followed strictly. People were not allowed to step out even for essentials, which were supplied to them at their doorstep. Medical stores was allowed to reopen and gradually banks, ATMs, and 33 grocery shops were allowed to resume operations.

“We used drones to identify people loitering outside during the lockdown. We also put up strict bandobast outside shops that were allowed to stay open. People resisted testing saying they had no symptoms, but would ultimately be found to be COVID-19 positive,” senior police inspector Jagdish Kulkarni from Uran police station said.

The 134 cases included a four-month-old baby and an 82-year-old man with diabetes and hypertension. Around 14 patients had co-morbidities. “Even with co-morbidities, there was no death reported. That is our biggest achievement,” Mr. Nawale said. Uran taluka, with a population of 1.66 lakh, has reported 197 cases till now, of which 134 were from Karanja. Of the 197, currently 30 are yet to be discharged. The taluka is spread across 63 villages, of which 14 have reported COVID-19 cases.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 1:19:49 PM |

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