Bengaluru: At a time when many fear that the virus might spread to the rural parts of the country, only worsening the situation, there are multiple stories of how a few villages have managed to keep themselves protected, thereby becoming exemplars to the entire nation. 

One such is a small village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra - Bhoyare Khurd. 

Using tools of widespread public awareness, following Covid-appropriate behaviour, regular health check-ups and isolation of infected people to control the spread of the virus and eventually become COVID-free, a statement from ministry of health and family welfare adds. 

Initially, when a few cases were detected, the gram panchayat and the health department started conducting antigen tests for families with infected patients. The suspects and symptomatic persons were immediately isolated. 

Villagers were so particular about the spread that they got themselves checked periodically with the help of Asha workers. 

“If symptoms like fever, cough or fatigue were observed, such people were immediately subjected to Antigen test and kept in isolation”, informs Dr Savita Kute who was involved in these works.

What sets apart the village is its smart use of public buildings like temples to spread more awareness about the need to be more careful. For example, loudspeakers in temples were used to inform the villagers how imperative it is to wear masks and maintain social distancing, inter alia. 

Interestingly, as Maharashtra went into lockdown mode, the village imposed ‘gaon band’ to shut itself. 

Sarpanch Rajendra Ambekar was quoted as saying that suspected persons were persuaded to stay in an isolation centre set up in the village which helped to break the chain and this led to become the village corona-free by the month of May.  “If other villages follow the example of our village, it will not take long for them to become free from Covid-19”, he added.