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Rajasthan Health Min Says Zika Virus Strategy Not Deployed As Bhilwara Model Gains Praise

Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma on Tuesday stated that the strategy adopted to fight the Zika virus was not being used to fight COVID-19.


Amid the soaring cases of Coronavirus country-wide, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma on Tuesday stated that the strategy adopted to fight the Zika virus in 2018 was not being used against COVID-19. Tackling the rising number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India, a health ministry official on Tuesday has revealed that the Cluster containment model that has been designed for four cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Bhilwara, and Agra - has gained the attention of the Centre amid the lockdown.

Read: COVID-19: Centre Readies 'Cluster Containment Strategy' For Delhi, Mumbai, Bhilwara, Agra

"No, we have made a strategy to fight COVID-19. If any state has worked in a planned way, then it is Rajasthan. That is why our model is being discussed in other parts of the country," Sharma said when asked if a strategy adopted to fight the Zika virus in 2018 was being used.

Read: At Least 215 People Came In Touch With COVID-19 Affected Italian Group: Rajasthan Health Minister

Rajasthan's 'Bhilwara model'

Bhilwara - a Rajasthan district about 250 km away from Jaipur has seen no cases for the past week after witnessing a surge in the COVID-19 cases. Explaining the 'ruthless containment' adopted by district officials, Harinder Kumar - the SP Bhilwara has said that the police adopted Nakabandi at the district border, city areas - effectively sealing the district from the state after 26 cases were detected by March-end. 

Taking extreme steps, he said that the state government which had deployed 3000 health workers to the district underwent rigorous testing of almost 2816 people for COVID-19, with only 27 testing positive. Next - effective supply of food items at houses. Reports state that government delivered supplies and even cooked food for people as all shops were closed. 

Moreover, to ensure no movement across district borders, Kumar said that the DMs and SPs were briefed about the same. Reports state that currently, over  950 people are in quarantine and 7620 people in home quarantine in six hotspots identified within the district.

The Zika Model

The Rajasthan Government back in 2018 had implemented a cluster containment strategy to tackle the Zika Virus outbreak. The strategy included active human and mosquito surveillance and laboratory testing along with heavy social mobilization and routine surveillance, in and around the epicenter which was Shastri Nagar in Jaipur. A laboratory-based surveillance strategy was put in place to ensure that the virus could not spread beyond the containment zone.

(With Agency Inputs)

Read: Rajasthan's 'Bhilwara Model' Against COVID Explained: From 26 To No New Cases In Past Week

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