Yogi government takes Covid fight to UP countryside!
On the instructions of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, the UP health department has activated the local level vigilance committees and rapid response teams (RRT) in the countryside across 75 districts. Owing to the recent UP panchayat polls, there was the overarching fear of a massive outbreak of corona virus in villages even as the second wave of the pandemic was already wreaking havoc in the big cities and towns during the latter half of April 2021.
Lucknow / May 20, 2021
After managing to bend the steep Covid-19 curve in the urban areas, the Uttar Pradesh government has now taken the crucial fight against the pandemic to the villages by ramping up testing and treatment matrices.
On the instructions of chief minister Yogi Adityanath, the UP health department has activated the local level vigilance committees and rapid response teams (RRT) in the countryside across 75 districts.
Owing to the recent UP panchayat polls, there was the overarching fear of a massive outbreak of coronavirus in villages even as the second wave of the pandemic was already wreaking havoc in the big cities and towns during the latter half of April 2021.
However, going by a successive sharp decline in the number of fresh cases over the past few days especially after lockdown or controlled curfew was imposed, it could be surmised that the Yogi dispensation has been successful in keeping the situation under check by adopting a multipronged approach of proactively tracing, testing and treating the suspected cases.
Interestingly, the yeoman work performed by the vigilance committees and RRTs in the countryside has helped UP earn global plaudits for Covid management. The World Health Organization (WHO), on its website, praised the Yogi government for its efforts towards a speedy control of the disease.
On an average, the RRTs have been conducting 100,000 (one lakh) tests each day in the rural areas. They are aided by vigilance committees comprising Asha, Anganwadi and auxiliary nurse and midwife (ANM) workers, who act as a shield to protect people by identifying suspected cases, expediting tests and facilitating treatment as fast as possible.
The vigilance committees are equipped with oximeters and infrared thermometers to identify symptoms. After identifying suspected cases, they pass on the information to the RRT which visits the residence of the suspected cases for conducting the tests on the entire family.
Currently, about 250,000 (2.5 lakh) tests are being conducted daily in the urban and rural areas of the state as part of Yogi’s prescribed mantra of ‘test, trace and treat’ to curb the spread of the disease, according to a state government spokesperson.
So far, the vigilance committees have visited almost 80,000 villages after the campaign was launched on May 5. They detected coronavirus infections in 28,742 villages, following which targeted efforts were made to contain the spread of the virus. As such, 68 per cent of the total villages in UP are deemed free from the virus.
With the help of more than 400,000 members of 60,589 vigilance committees, the Yogi government is progressing well in terms of flattening the curve of Covid-19. These committees also distribute medical kits to patients in home isolation, while facilitating quarantine for suspected cases, who cannot afford home isolation, in schools, community centres and health centres in villages.
Meanwhile, the UP government has also started a special sanitation drive in the villages, thus becoming the first Indian state to undertake a drive on such a large scale. The vigilance committees are mandated to create awareness regarding the importance of hygiene, including washing hands and wearing facemask, and social distancing in guarding against coronavirus.
(Virendra Singh Rawat is a Lucknow based journalist, who writes on contemporary issues of industry, economy, agriculture, infrastructure, budget etc)