Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has expressed hope that his government will be able to bring the COVID-19 crisis in Indore city under control by following the ‘Bhilwara model’ of infection containment.
In an e-mail interview to PTI, Chouhan said his government was also adopting the ‘IITT’ formula – of identification, isolation, testing and treatment – to deal with the coronavirus outbreak in the state’s industrial hub.
Indore, having a population of more than 30 lakh, has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot in the state. The district has so far reported 1,176 coronavirus cases and 57 deaths. Its COVID-19 death rate of 4.85 per cent is higher than the national average, according to data analysis. Till now, 107 patients have also been discharged after recovery, as per official figures.
Chouhan said the situation in Indore has been improving and the government wants the city to be out of lockdown as soon as possible.
“So, we have decided to adopt the ‘Bhilwara model’ to tackle the coronavirus situation in the city. We are trying to ascertain the health status of all residents of Indore. For this, we are going to conduct screening of every citizen of Indore,” he said.
Chouhan said his government is also following the ‘IITT’ formula – of early identification of suspects and patients, isolation- by sending suspected patients to isolation centres and confirmed patients to separate wards of hospitals immediately, testing more samples, and increasing treatment facilities.
Asked about the possibility of lifting curfew or lockdown in Indore after May 3, he said a suitable decision would be taken in the interest of the city after looking at the situation.
“A decision to lift the lockdown can be taken when the risk of coronavirus infection in Indore starts decreasing, when the number of infected persons starts coming down and the situation seems to be under control,” he said.
On the delay in receiving coronavirus test reports of samples in Indore, Chouhan said the rate of investigation in the city is much higher than the rest of the state. But, efforts are on to test more and more people by increasing the capacity, he said.
“So far, samples of more than 6,220 people have been sent for coronavirus testing in Indore,” he said.
Last month, when the coronavirus was spreading in Indore, the then Kamal Nath-led Congress government faced rebellion and collapsed. Analysts believe the government’s preparedness to protect the public from coronavirus got affected by the political uncertainty at that time.
Chouhan was sworn in as chief minister of the state on March 23 following the resignation of Kamal Nath.
Asked about the higher COVID-19 death rate in Indore, Chouhan said, “A large number of patients among those who succumbed to coronavirus had other serious illnesses. Such patients were brought late to hospital.”
During the initial phase of COVID-19 outbreak, people who came to Indore from abroad hid information about their foreign travel due to lack of awareness, insecurity and fear. These people infected others unknowingly, and the epidemic spread in the city, he said.
He said information of about 55,000 people, who had come to Madhya Pradesh from abroad, was received from the Centre in time. Taking immediate steps on this, such people were sent isolated and quarantined.
Besides, Chouhan also said that out of 107 people, who returned to Madhya Pradesh after taking part in a religious event of Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin in Delhi, some were from Indore.
“These people returned from there (Tablighi Jamaat event) and went to major cities and other remote areas of the state and did not come forward. Unfortunately, coronavirus infection spread further,” he said.
The information about such people was collected and the government acted as per the protocol, and these people were isolated, he said.
Meanwhile, Indore’s chief medical and health officer Praveen Jadia said a coronavirus survey was going on with the help of about 2,000 teams, which were collecting information about the health of citizens.
Jadia claimed the survey teams have reached out to nearly 14 lakh people in Indore, including eight lakh living in more than 170 containment zones. Efforts are being made to complete the survey in the urban areas at the earliest, he added.