Updated: May 31, 2021 3:25:22 pm
Kharatwadi village in Walva taluka of Sangli district in Maharashtra had been able to keep the novel coronavirus at bay since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. However, things changed fast in the last few days when five members of a family tested positive for Covid-19.
Sagar Shinde, the government medical officer at Nerle, said, “In the last few days, five Covid-19 cases have been detected in the village. This is the first time since the outbreak last year that the village has witnessed five cases. All of them are from the same family.”
Kharatwadi had shot to fame during the Lok Sabha elections when the farmers from the village had openly supported Raju Shetti, who heads the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna. The village is surrounded by a river on the three sides.
Shinde said while Kharatwadi had not registered a single case to date, its two neighbouring villages had recorded over 100 cases in the same period. “We have conducted 300 tests so far throughout the year. And now only five of them have tested positive,” he said.
The village has a population of only 1,278 people.
When asked as to how the village has been successful in keeping the virus at bay, sarpanch Prithviraj Kharat said, “People live in vast acres of farm land here. It is not a congested place. There are farms owned by the villagers where they have built their own houses and stay with their families.”
He added, “We had carried out a Covid-19 awareness campaign and asked the villagers to get tested if they developed any symptoms. The villagers either go to the primary health centre or to private doctors for treatment.”
Shinde said the primary reason why Kharatwadi thwarted Covid’s entry is that it tested every individual who was seeking entry into the village.
“This 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 kept them in isolation in a facility set up in the village. We conducted over 1,000 tests at that time. Though no one was found positive, they had to undergo mandatory quarantine before entering the village,” he added.
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