Mumbai: Two months ago, a girl in Bhosi village of Maharashtra’s Nanded district was found coronavirus positive, infected after attending a wedding.
Days later, five people from the village, having a population of around 6,000 were also infected, sending local body members and health officials into a tizzy.
“A health camp was held in the village in coordination with the gram panchayat and the health department to conduct Covid tests. Rapid Antigen Tests and RT-PCR tests revealed that 119 people were positive,” an official release said.
“It was decided to isolate the patients to break the chain of coronavirus spreading to others. Accordingly, all the infected people were persuaded to go and live on their fields for 15-17 days, as mandated by the guidelines of the ministry of health and family welfare for people with mild infections,” the release said.
Farm labourers and others who did not own farms were accommodated in a makeshift 40 feet by 60 feet shed on the farm of Zilla Parishad member Prakash Deshmukh Bhosikar who took the initiative to organise the health camp, the release said.
“Ashatai village health workers and Anganwadi sevika would visit the fields every day and interact with patients.
Food and medicines were also provided on the spot and all the villagers cooperated,” the release said.
After 15 to 20 days of isolation, the villagers returned home as coronavirus-free persons after a health check-up, it said.
“A month and a half later, there is no new patient in the village. Covid can be fought effectively by adopting the age-old path of isolation as was being done during the days of the plague, even in villages without adequate health facilities,” the release by the Central government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) said.
“Separation is the only way to save the villagers from getting infected,” it quoted Lakshmibai Akkemwad, who spent a fortnight in quarantine on the fields.
Nanded Zilla Parishad CEO Varsha Thakur Ghuge said the ‘Bhosi pattern’ is a good example of coordination between the villagers, people’s representatives and the administration, worthy of implementation in other villages.
“Preventing coronavirus spread in rural areas is a relatively complicated process due to the lack of testing facilities and health infrastructure, as compared to urban areas. However, Bhosi village has shown the way of fighting the pandemic through the path of isolation,” the release said.