Sundarban Island in West Bengal still free from Covid-19

As the country is grappling with the Covid-19 outbreak a remote island located nearly 100 km away from Kolkata in the Sundarban area has managed to remain free of the virus. The Ghormara Island in South 24 Paraganas district’s Sagar block is yet to record a single Covid-19 case.

A visit to the island which has a population of about 3000 shows that life is going on as usual with shops, panchayat office, post office, and ration outlets functioning as if nothing happened.

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So how did this unique feet was achieved? Speaking to DH Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA from Sagar constituency Bankim Hazra said that intense awareness drive by the state government and timely isolation of people arriving from outside after the pandemic broke out ensured that the island remains free of the deadly virus.

He said that the reason behind the state administration’s special focus to keep Ghoramara free from the outbreak was if community transmission takes place on an island it would be extremely difficult to control.

The fact that there is rarely any large crowd or congested areas has also contributed to keeping it free from the virus. Hazra said that they have visited the island several times to raise awareness among locals.

“Block administration, police, panchayat and elected representatives across party lines have worked as a team. Because if someone gets infected with Covid-19 at Ghoramara it will be very difficult to bring to the mainland in Kakdwip and then get him tested along with proper treatment. If a community transmission takes place on an island it will be a disaster,” said Hazra.

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Although one resident of the island had died of Covid-19 he was outside Ghoramara when he got infected and succumbed to the virus, said Hazra.

However, sources in the district administration said that there was no scope for complacency as the pandemic is far from over. Their concern becomes evident as there is no hospital on the island and the local infrastructure comprises only a health center.

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