The state of Rajasthan has become the latest hotspot origin of the novel Wuhan virus as the number of positive cases have suddenly spiked in the biggest state of India to 45.
The apathy of the Gehlot government, and inefficiency and gross negligence on the part of the local administration is the reason behind the sudden surge in positive Coronavirus cases in the state.
The case of Bhilwara, the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak in the state of Rajasthan has exposed the extent of apathy and inefficiency of the local administration in tackling the epidemic.
The district has till now recorded 21 confirmed cases, and two deaths in a short span of last 24 hours. One of the deceased has been identified as Narayan Singh, 73, a resident of the city, who was admitted to the Bangar Memorial Hospital. His son and granddaughter have also tested positive.
The other deceased was an unidentified 60 year old resident of Najariyawas, Raipur, Bhilwara. His case however reveals the fragile administration and negligence of the medical infrastructure under the Gehlot administration.
He was admitted to five different hospitals in the backdrop of his deteriorating medical condition. The 60-year old too was admitted to the Bangar Hospital which has emerged as the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak in the state.
A senior doctor, who returned from abroad, is believed to have transmitted what is used to a lot of people, including the hospital staff. Bangar Hospital alone accounts for 18 of the total cases in Rajasthan. What makes the situation that much more precarious is the fact that the doctors who treated several patients they themselves tested positive for Coronavirus.
According to a government official, “This person (the 60-y22ear old deceased) had visited Bangar hospital in the first week of March after feeling some heart ache. He received treatment there but when his condition did not improve, he was referred to a hospital in Ahmedabad.”
However, upon returning to Bhilwara and feeling uneasiness he again visited the Bangar Hospital. The official added, “He then went to a government clinic near his village after a few days and from there again he was referred to the government MG Hospital in the city, where finally his blood samples were sent for testing, which came back positive on Wednesday afternoon.”
Meanwhile, the Gehlot government still doesn’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation. While Bhilwara is being described as the ‘Italy of Rajasthan’, the Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma and Bhilwara MLA Vitthal Shankar Avasthi have not even held a meeting till now to take stock of the situation.
Beyond Bhilwara too, the Gehlot govenrment in Rajasthan has been listless in dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak. It must be kept in mind that when the Coronavirus outbreak picked up in India almost three weeks ago, the first case of an Italian national testing positive was recorded from the Pink City, Jaipur.
The Italian national was a part of a group of 23 Italian tourists who had travelled to Jaipur from the National Capital. As such these were the first indications of foreigners bringing in the virus from the affected countries.
At the outset, it was being demanded that the travel of foreign tourists and travellers coming in from Coronavirus-hit countries be restricted, but the Gehlot government seems to have acted quite late.
Take, for instance, the case of an Italian family belonging to Jhunjunu returning from Italy. By that time, Italy had already emerged as the hotbed of Coronavirus. But still the family landed in Delhi on March 8 and directly took a cab for a village in Jhunjhunu.
The family which kept roaming around in Jhunjhunu later tested positive for the novel Wuhan virus. This has now caused great panic in the district, while the family has been shifted to isolation in Jaipur.
Equally shocking is the case of a Spain-based couple which landed in Delhi and fled to a Jaipur hotel alongwith their 2 year old child despite knowing that they were afflicted with Coronavirus. By the time they got admitted to a hospital and sent into isolation, they had already come in contact with a number of people.
Rajasthan is a tourism friendly state and ideally it should have been the first one to take stern action, but it took measures only days before the nationwide lockdown, till which time damage had already been done. Now, it is looking at Bhilwara slipping into Stage III- Community transmission of the virus, while it is also picking up in the rest of the state.
How foreign travellers were allowed to keep visiting is utterly shocking, and it remains to be asked as to why the Gehlot government didn’t seal the borders of the state, at least in the case of foreign travellers.
Meanwhile, the Centre too seems to have failed in acting against erratic foreign travellers visiting Rajasthan despite having the necessary data to track down the travellers. The end result being that Rajasthan seems all set to be India’s own Wuhan- a scary prospect given the poor medical infrastructure which also got exposed during the Kota tragedy earlier this year.