Rajasthan’s Bhilwara remains a hotbed of coronavirus infection

The district administration has launched steps on a war-footing to control virus spread which threatens to destroy the local textile industry

Updated - June 09, 2020 04:17 pm IST

Published - March 28, 2020 03:59 am IST - JAIPUR

With two deaths and 21 COVID-19 positive cases being detected so far, Rajasthan’s Bhilwara town, situated 250 km from Jaipur, continues to remain a hotbed of coronavirus infection. The district administration has launched steps on a war-footing to control the community spread of the virus, which threatens to destroy the local textile industry.

Of the two patients who died, a 73-year-old man was in coma due to kidney failure and had later tested positive for coronavirus. He was admitted from March 3 to 11 in the private hospital where three doctors were later found COVID-19 positive. His samples were obtained when he was in the state of coma.

The administration claimed that his death had occurred because of kidney failure and brain stroke, and not due to COVID-19. Since he was being treated at his home after being discharged from the hospital, his son and granddaughter tested positive on Thursday.

The other deceased — a 60-year-old man — was admitted to the private hospital’s intensive care unit from March 7 to 9 after a heart attack. He visited the hospital again twice and was later shifted to Mahatma Gandhi Government Hospital. He tested COVID-19 positive on March 25 and died the next day.

While the MG Hospital’s doctors attributed his death to dysfunctional kidney and other complications, two of his close relatives tested positive on Friday. They are among the 21 patients who have been confirmed with coronavirus infection after the testing of 439 samples conducted in the town after an intense contact tracing.

Zero mobility area

Bhilwara Collector Rajendra Bhatt said on Friday that while curfew was clamped in the town’s municipal limits on March 20, a one-km radius area around the private hospital, where the infection cases were initially reported, had been declared a zero mobility area as part of the containment zone.

In the biggest screening exercise undertaken in the district, 1,948 teams of health workers have surveyed 4.22 lakh families in both the urban and rural areas and examined 21.64 lakh persons. Hotels, resorts, hostels and dharamshalas have been acquired in the town to arrange 1,500 quarantine beds and 14,400 normal beds to meet an emergency situation.

In his latest action, the District Collector has taken over five private hospitals to ramp up isolation facilities for the coronavirus patients. The State government will provide electricity, water and other necessities during the treatment. At present, 6,445 persons have been home quarantined and 50 persons are in isolation at the government and private medical facilities.

Rajesh Jain, who runs an ear, nose and throat speciality hospital in Bhilwara, said the people in the town wanted to know the source of contagion. “Was the origin in hospital or some other place? The spread has been reasonably controlled because the initial set of patients were all medicos and hospital staff,” he said.

24-hour screening

A 24-hour screening centre had been established in Bhilwara to cover the people with symptoms as well as those who came in contact with the hospital’s staff. Medical and Health Minister Raghu Sharma said the situation was under control and senior officers and health experts were tracking all developments.

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