Maharashtra's 'Islampur Pattern' checks COVID-19 spread

Situated near the Pune-Bengaluru NH-4, Islampur town had shaken the state health authorities on March 23 after notching a wide spread of coronavirus among 26 persons, mostly of a single family.

Published: 11th April 2020 06:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th April 2020 06:09 PM   |  A+A-

A healthcare worker prepares medication for a COVID-19 patient at one of the intensive care units.

For representational purposes (Photo | AP)


SANGLI: Even as the 'Bhilwara Model' of Rajasthan has attained fame for containing the spread of Covid-19, Maharashtra has notched equal success in its own 'Islampur Pattern' implemented in the Sangli district, officials said here on Saturday.

Situated near the Pune-Bengaluru NH-4, Islampur town had shaken the state health authorities on March 23 after notching a wide spread of coronavirus among 26 persons, mostly of a single family.

By Friday (April 10), Nationalist Congress Party President and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, whose Assembly constituency is Islampur, proudly announced that 22 out of 26 patients had tested negative and have been fully cured of Covid-19.

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The spread was ostensibly from four persons of the family who had returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia and had tested positive, and within a week, infected 22 others in their immediate and extended clan.

It is attributed to the quick measures initiated by Patil, known to be a tough administrator and no-nonsense organiser, Sangli Collector Abhijeet Choudhary and Civil Surgeon C.S. Salunkhe.

Even as the first cases erupted in the district in the third-fourth week of March, rapid response teams were formed to track the 'high-risk' and 'low-risk' contacts before they could spread the disease further.

All symptomatic contacts were shunted to isolation and were tested, while those without symptoms were sent to institutional quarantine or home quarantine.

Since all the cases came from a single locality in the town, a one-km radius containment zone was created with a buffer zone outside it and seven entry-exit points to the area were completely sealed and monitored round-the-clock for any violations.

"All essential items of daily requirements like milk, fruits, vegetables, grocery etc. were delivered to people's doorsteps and social distancing was strictly enforced," said Patil.

Besides, medical and paramedical teams scoured 1,600 homes in the containment zones for the coronavirus scourge on a daily basis, taking people's temperatures, checking them for cold, cough or any related symptoms.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Medical Education Minister Amit V. Deshmukh chipped in by setting up a special team from the Government Medical College, Miraj (Sangli), for this purpose.

"I am confident there will not be any further increase in Covid-19 positive cases in Islampur now. The containment and quarantine was 100 per cent successful. But the ongoing lockdown will also need to be strictly adhered to," said Patil.

Deshmukh and Tope termed it as a "well-coordinated effort of the people, the administration and health authorities", which enabled Islampur -- with a population of around 69,000 -- beat the coronavirus on the lines of the Bhilwara Model of Rajasthan.

Relieved locals said that during the past over two weeks, they remained completely cut-off from the world physically and maintained contact through mobiles, internet or television as they patiently waited to emerge from the huge crisis, virtually unscathed.

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