Amid gloom, some bright spots emerge: … but Ramganj faces uphill battle | India News


JAIPUR: Rajasthan’s new Covid-19 ground zero, Ramganj, appears to be paying the price for taking its time getting used to the ruthless containment model that helped Bhilwara flatten the curve in just three weeks.
Dingy lanes lined with heritage havelis that house up to 100 people each, an initial animosity towards health workers, political meddling and rumour-mongering have been the main hurdles in replicating the Bhilwara model in Ramganj, officials said on Wednesday even as the Covid-19 count in the city spiked to 318.
One of the first challenges for health workers was to stop political functionaries from trooping to Ramganj in the name of distributing groceries and other items, an official said. Then came the rumour that the health department’s screening campaign was actually a covert operation to collect data in preparation for an NRC exercise. “We had to rope in Muslim police officers to convince people that tests were being conducted for their well-being. We also coordinated with the clergy. This seems to be yielding some results,” police commissioner Anand Srivastav said.
Overall, Jaipur’s total rose to 483 on Wednesday.
“Demographically, Bhilwara is different from Ramganj. In Bhilwara, you have localities with houses and families of 4 to 6 members each. Here, there are old havelis up to four storeys in which you can’t estimate how many people live,” additional chief secretary (health) Rohit Kumar Singh said. “We found out while screening the population that every house in Ramganj has 40 to 50 family members on an average, besides 20 to 30 tenants.”
It’s only been over the past week that residents have allowed health workers to carry out cluster sampling like in Bhilwara.
“The people wouldn’t let screening teams in. It was only after we got some local religious and political functionaries to intervene, including MLA Amin Kagzi (of Kishanpole constituency in Jaipur), that people started agreeing to tests,” an official said.



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