Updated: June 1, 2021 7:59:02 am
AFTER KEEPING Covid-19 at bay for close to 15 months, Kharatwadi village in Walva taluka of Sangli district has finally reported five cases in the last few days. All five cases are from a single family in the village.
Kharatwadi shot to fame during Lok Sabha elections when farmers from the village openly expressed support for Raju Shetti, who heads Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana. In fact, it is surrounded by the river on three sides. Though it is in close proximity to the river, the village has rarely been submerged during the monsoon.
Sagar Shinde, a government medical officer at Nerle, said, “In the last few days, we have detected five postive cases in the village. This is first time since the outbreak last year. All five are from the same family. Initially, one man from the family tested positive and then we tested the entire family.”
Shinde said while Kharatwadi had not reported any positive case to date, its two neighbouring villages recorded more than 100 cases in the same period. “We have, so far, conducted 300 tests throughout the year. And now, only five have tested positive,” he said.
The village has a population of 1,278. Sarpanch Prithviraj Kharat attributed the reason to vast acres of farmland, where villagers prefer to stay. “Village is not congested. There are farms owned by villagers. The villagers, in fact, have built houses on part of their farmland where they live with their families,” he said.
Kharat said, “We carried out awareness campaigns on Covid-19. Villagers were specifically told that if they have symptoms, they should get tested immediately. They either go to primary health centres or private doctors.”
Shinde said the primary reason why Kharatwadi thwarted Covid-19 for so long was that outsiders were tested on entering the village. “This was started last year when people were returning from Mumbai and other places. We conducted tests and quarantined them. Even if their tests were negative, we quarantined them in a separate facility. We conducted over 1,000 tests. Though none was found positive, they had to undergo mandatory quarantine period,” he said.
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