The COVID-19 outbreak has been one of the toughest challenges that nature has posed to the human race ever. Already been a year, still the world continues to battle to eradicate the virus. However, by using technology and science, production of drugs, medics, medical equipments have been made to partially prevent the disease. But, preventing the spread of Covid-19 in rural areas is a relatively complicated process due to the lack of testing facilities and health infrastructure, as compared to urban areas.
India is facing fresh challenges with the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic spreading to rural areas. However, Bhosi, a village of 6,000 people in the Bhokar Taluka of Nanded district in Maharastra has showed the way of fighting the pandemic outnreaking by simply adopting the path of isolation.
How COVID-19 entered Bhosi village?
Two months ago, after a wedding ceremony, a girl of the village was found infected with Corona virus. Five more patients were found the following week, which led to a commotion in the whole village. Later, the Zilla Parishad Member Prakash Deshmukh Bhosikar took the initiative to organize a health camp in the village in coordination with the Gram Panchayat and the Health Department to conduct Covid tests. Rapid Antigen Test and RT-PCR tests that followed revealed that 119 people were Covid 19 positive.
How Bhosi managed to break the chain of COVID-19?
The Zilla Parishad decided to isolate the patients to break the chain of Covid-19 spreading to others. Accordingly, all the infected people were persuaded to go and live on their fields for a period of 15-17 days, as mandated by the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for people with mild infections. Farm labourers and others who did not own farms, were accommodated in a make shift 40’ x 60’ shed on ZP member Prakash Deshmukh Bhosikar Bhosikar’s own farm.
Ashatai, the village health worker and Anganwadi sevika would visit the fields everyday and interact with patients. Food and medicines were also provided on the spot. Nearly, everyone cooperated. After 15 to 20 days of isolation, the villagers returned home as corona-free persons only after a health check-up.
Due to the isolation way, a month and a half has passed since then and no new patient has been found in the village.
What do the villagers have to say?
“Separation is the only way to save the villagers from getting infected” says Lakshmibai Akkemwad, who spent a fortnight in quarantine on the fields.
Zilla Parishad Member Prakash Deshmukh Bhosikar says “a month and a half has passed since then and no new patient has been found in the village. Covid can be fought effectively by adopting the age-old path of isolation - as was being done during the days of plague - even in villages without adequate health facilities”.
Nanded Zilla Parishad CEO, Varsha Thakur Ghuge, said that the Bhosi pattern is a good example of joint coordination between the villagers, people's representatives and the administration, worthy of implementation in other villages of the district and elsewhere.