May 2, 2021 2:44:58 am
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday urged sarpanches of over 14,000 gram panchayats to enforce a 15-day blockade to control the spread of coronavirus disease in the rural parts of the state.
Admitting that Covid-19 cases have increased even in the villages, Rupani addressing a virtual meeting on Gujarat Day, said a 15-day “Maru Gaam, Corona Mukt Gaam” programme is being rolled out during which the village heads should test and isolate rural folk with Covid-like symptoms. This, the chief minister said, was necessary to prevent a spillover of Covid-19 patients from the villages to the cities.
“In your respective villages, a health check of all the villagers has to be done… During this health check, those found with fever, cold, cough or other symptoms should be isolated and these people should be tested for Covid-19,” he said. This, he added, will help providing early treatment to those infected and will help prevent spread of infection within the village. Patients with mild symptoms can be given medicines and be treated in isolation in schools, community halls or an empty home within the village. “They then need not rush towards cities looking for a hospital bed, oxygen or injections,” Rupani said. The CM asked the sarpanches to form a 10-member committee in their respective villages, which will function in coordination with the local government authorities and pitch in to help isolated patients with food, water and medicines.
“Villages should enforce a blockade for 15 days. Those in the village should not step out of the village without need. Those from outside should not be allowed to enter and if anything needs to be brought from outside, the village committee should make the necessary arrangements… If villages become free of corona(virus), then people coming to hospitals in the cities will stop. The cases in hospitals will go down and then people will be relieved of the tension related to unavailability of beds or oxygen,” Rupani said.
Earlier this week, The Indian Express had reported that the Ahmedabad district authorities were setting up new Covid care centres in rural areas to prevent spillover into cities where the health infrastructure is already overburdened. Governor Acharya Devvrat, who also attend the virtual meeting, said “mistakes” were made in handling Covid-19. “We were in a normal situation at the beginning of April. Nobody knew that this unseen enemy will launch such a big attack on people. There have been mistakes on my and your part as well. We took Covid-19 so lightly and as a result we stopped wearing masks, events where crowds gathered started happening … and we forgot the Covid protocols. The result is that corona(virus) returned with double the power,” he said.
Ashwini Kumar, the secretary to the CM, who made a presentation on the steps taken by the state government in controlling the infection at the meeting, said it is difficult to predict the coronavirus in the second wave. “So, it is very important that the small towns and villages take a lot of precautions,” Kumar said.
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