How this small district has kept itself safe of Covid-19?
Chamarajanagar has been able to protect itself against the corona virus outbreak, at a time when its state of Karnataka was becoming a hotspot in the spread. It was surrounded by states that had cases multiplying by the numbers. But it could still keep itself clear off any contamination, from the time the first case was detected in the nearest Kerala state.
The administration got down to work as soon as January 30, taking on robust sanitization efforts. For every delivery of fruits and vegetables that were to come from Kerala, the vehicles were sanitized. Chamarajnagar deputy commissioner M R Ravi thought on his feet and said, “We started screening people in vehicles entering the district at six interstate check-posts including two bordering Kerala and three bordering Tamil Nadu, and one that is common to both states.”
As cases started to come from other districts, the interstate district check points were manned and individuals travelling were checked thoroughly for any positive cases, before they entered the Chamaranjanagar district.
Speaking to the local media, Mr. Ravi said, “Once the lockdown was implemented, we sealed all 12 checkposts strictly,” said Ravi. “We installed CCTV cameras at checkposts, and cracked down hard on staff and policemen when they allowed in 595 people from Mangaluru.”
It took determined effort and sound leadership to get this district to handle everything on their own. It is something that the district commissioner attributes to his army of people who helped and worked in unity. This includes 1426 Anganvadi workers, some 700 plus Asha workers who carefully carried out house-to-house screening of almost 10.5 lakh people. In the process, they covered 1.28 lakh senior citizens above 60 years, 1.32 lakh children below 10 years, 8666 people from vulnerable group including pregnant women, HIV positives, tuberculosis patients, etc.
None were trained or prepared but they worked together, learned and moved ahead. Till date, there is not a single case of infection in the district. While the district continues to follow the lockdown guidelines, they frolic in the open expanses and the richness of their land.