Soon after an Anganwadi worker was tested positive for the novel coronavirus and admitted at Bharati Hospital on Pune-Satara Road on March 20, as many as 87 people who came in contact with the patient were traced and identified by and home quarantined in Pune district, a health official said.
After developing the symptoms for COVID-19, the 41-year-old Anganwadi worker, who is currently on ventilator support following her respiratory failure, had visited the district of Velha, some 40-odd KMs away from Pune in her capacity as Anganwadi sevika posted there for work.
As her symptoms exacerbated, she was admitted to the Bharati Hospital and her throat swabs were sent to the National Institute of Virology to check for the possibility of swine flu (H1N1).
According to the official, besides herself, her 5 close relatives, her son, husband, sister, sister’s husband and their daughter, were also tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday.
A senior official from the district administration said that she had attended a meeting of Anganwadi workers in Velha on March 7 and 8. However, shortly afterwards, she approached a doctor with a complaint of cough and other symptoms, following which she was admitted to the Bharti Hospital.
These Anganwadi workers worked in different villages. Teams of health officials were formed and as many as 12 surrounding villages where the Anganwadi workers worked were thoroughly scanned for signs of contracting COVID-19. “Several of the women Anganwadi workers who sat adjacent to the COVID-19 patient were checked and sent to quarantine,” the official said.
At least 87 people, including small children, their parents and Anganwadi workers, along with others who were suspicious of bearing the virus after coming in contact with the COVID-19 patient were quarantined at their respective homes in different villages in Velha tehsil as a precautionary measure, he added.
Maharashtra is currently India’s worst affected state, grappling with over 100 positive cases of the deadly infection.