Image use for represantional only. Image courtesy: The Hindu
On Saturday, March 28, the Sangli district administration issued orders for a complete shutdown of Islampur town. Not even essential services like milk and vegetables were allowed to open for three days. Large contingents of police were deployed in each street and locality of Islampur and everyone was advised to stay indoors completely. Additionally, 337 people from the town have been put under home quarantine. The stringent emergency measures were put in place due to the fear of mass transmission of COVID-19 in the town in Maharashtra.
Four persons of this small town had returned from Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. They were advised by the health department to quarantine at home upon their return. However, all of the members didn't not heed the Health Department’s advice.
When these people started displaying symptoms of COVID-19, the district administration tested all 24 members of the family. The workers at the medical stores managed by the family were also asked to undergo the test. Within two days, all 24 members of the family had tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease. This pressed the panic button for the administration, and they started tracing all those who had come into contact with the family. Following this, 337 people from Sangli and Kolhapur were put under home quarantine.
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The decision on the extension of complete shutdown, which is in effect till Tuesday, will be taken after the results of further tests come out.
"The people of Sangli district have been put on high alert. We have announced that no person shall come on road without urgent necessary reason. Also a team of doctors have reached from Mumbai to inspect the situation," said Guard Minister for Sangli Jayant Patil.
So far, Maharashtra has been successful in arresting the mass transmission of COVID-19, despite being among the top states with COVID-19 positive cases in the country. The total number of patients as on Monday morning stood at 193, with 8 new cases. Out of the total reported cases, 38 have been discharged after two consecutive tests results were negative.
The state administration believes that the next two weeks are very very important for the state. "Now, patients with no history of foreign travel have started coming in Mumbai and Pune cities. So, this must not spread. Therefore, complete closure of mass contacts is very much needed," said a senior officer in the Health Department of state.