Twenty-two members of a family from Islampur in Sangli district, who were all infected with coronavirus disease, have recovered. The patients, six of whom are above 50 years and one suffers from congestive heart failure, were discharged Friday.
“They have been directed to remain in home quarantine for the next 72 hours,” Sangli District Collector Abhijeet Chaudhary said.
Initially, four members of the family had tested positive on March 23 after they returned from Haj in Saudi Arabia. “They were kept in the isolation ward at the government medical college on March 19,” said district civil surgeon Dr Sanjay Salunke.
The four included a 62-year-old woman, a 52-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man, who also suffered from congestive heart failure. Soon, five others from the same family, three women and two men, tested positive for the infection.
Other people who tested positive during subsequent testing included a 70-year-old woman who used to do domestic chores at their place and was close to their family, and a member of the family who had come to meet them at Islampur from Pethwadgaon in Kolhapur, among others.
The youngest member of the family, a two year old, had also contracted the virus. “The parents of the toddler have tested negative but they do not want to leave him alone in the isolation ward. That’s why they were not discharged with the 22 others,” said Dr Salunkhe.
After several members of the same family tested positive, the district administration’s main task was to trace all the people the family had come in contact with in the days before their diagnosis, said District Collector Abhijeet Chaudhary.
The District Rapid Response Team traced 53 high-risk contacts and 436 low-risk ones.
The 14 symptomatic contacts were shifted to isolation and tested, while 32 asymptomatic close contacts were put in institutional quarantine, said Chaudhary. All low-risk contacts have been home quarantined, and they are visited daily by 16 health teams .
In Islampur, a town of nearly 70,000 residents, the district administration declared 1-km radius around the area the family resided in as containment zone, with an additional buffer zone of 1 km. The containment zone had a single entry and exit point, and all movement was completely restricted.
“We ensured doorstep delivery of essential items in both containment and buffer zones and we even disinfected vehicles that come out of containment zones,” said the district collector.
An active surveillance effort by 31 teams includes daily visits to over 1,600 houses in the containment zone. Only one identified person from each family was allowed to come out to purchase essential items. Information booklets were given to each family member and hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis was given to all close contacts and health workers. It is being ensured that social distancing norms are strictly followed in the entire town, said authorities.
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