Even as the number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra is set to cross the one lakh mark, tribal dominated Gondia district has become the first with zero active cases. Of 69 cases – mainly migrants from Mumbai, Thane and Ahmedabad, who were returning to Gondia – the last one tested negative and was discharged. On Thursday, there were zero active cases in the district.
Known as the ‘rice city’ due to the abundance of rice mills in the area, the district is surrounded by hills and forests and has a population of 14 lakh. Dr Shyam Nimgade, District Health Officer of Gondia, which is in the Nagpur division, told The Indian Express that there has not been a single case of local infection so far.
“After the phase-wise lifting of the lockdown, we started reporting cases of coronavirus disease. The first case was a month ago, when a nurse returned from Mumbai to Gondia. By mid-May, we had 100 people who had returned from Mumbai and Ahmedabad,” Dr Nimgade said.
On May 15, one truckload of 80 passengers, which included 50 migrant workers from Gondia and 30 from Gadchiroli, returned from Ulhasnagar in Thane district. As many as 24 of these workers tested positive for Covid-19. Between May 19 and 20, there was another busload of 21 passengers who returned to Gondia and of those, ten tested positive. Overall, 69 people tested positive for the virus, of which seven were hospitalised with mild to moderate symptoms and two required oxygen therapy, “Most of them were in the 20-40 years age group, and recovered well,” Nimgade said.
According to Dr Sanjeev Kumar, Nagpur Divisional Commissioner, on June 11, there were no new cases in Gondia, Wardha and Bhandara. Gondia had 69 cases, while Bhandara had 48. In Gondia, all 69 persons have recovered and been discharged while in Bhandara, 31 persons have recovered and discharged. While Wardha, which is also in Nagpur division, did not report any case, seven people (out of 13 positive cases) were discharged. In Nagpur division, out of a total of 1,051 cases, 695 persons have recovered and been discharged. There have been 16 deaths.
“The focus will be on preventing the spread of the cases to the rural areas, and so far, we have been successful in the process,” Dr Kumar said. Apart from quarantining infected people in institutions like ashram shalas so they do not mix with the rest of the community, their close contacts were also tested to rule out Covid-19. In the Nagpur division, there are approximately 5,000 beds with oxygen supply facilities, he added.
At the district level, Dr Nimgade said they will have to remain vigilant and have involved private hospitals in reporting each patient with influenza-like symptoms, apart from conducting household surveys. Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said efforts will have to be taken to ensure Gondia remains without any active cases.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines