New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) Delhi government's 'Operation SHIELD' has completely stopped the transmission of coronavirus in Dilshad Garden with no new cases reported in the last 10 days, Delhi's health department said.
Dilshad Garden -- a densely populated area of the national capital had the potential to become a hotspot even before Nizamuddin Markaz became one, after a woman infected at least eight people, including a mohalla clinic doctor.
The government used Operation SHIELD -- Sealing, Home Quarantine, Isolation and Tracking, Essential Supply, Local Sanitisation and Door-To-Door Checking -- to control the spread of the virus, the Delhi Health Department said.
A total of 123 medical teams screened more than 15,000 people living in 4,032 houses and hospitalised the coronavirus suspects.
According to the Delhi Health Department, a 38-year-old woman along with her 19-year-old son returned to Delhi on March 10, from Saudi Arabia.
On March 12, she developed fever and cough and went to a doctor in Mohalla Clinic. On March 15, the woman was taken to the GTB hospital where the doctors referred her to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.
On March 17, she tested positive for coronavirus and on March 18 the authorities traced that she had met nearly 81 people after returning from Saudi Arabia.
On March 20, her brother and mother also tested positive. On March 21, the infection spread to her two daughters and on March 22 the clinic doctor who first saw her was also tested positive, the Health Department said.
Soon after she tested positive, Operation SHIELD was launched in Dilshad Garden.
"The Delhi government made Dilshad Garden a containment zone and Operation SHIELD was activated after the woman tested positive and infected eight others, including a mohalla clinic doctor," the Health Department said.
The Delhi government traced all the people who came in contact with the woman and quarantined them. "Under SHIELD, curfew was imposed in parts of Dilshad Garden and Old Seemapuri. The Delhi police and the Delhi government worked together to make this plan a success", the Health Department added.
District Administration officer of Shahdara, S.K. Nayak, who overviewed the whole operation, said when the woman tested positive for COVID-19, the administration rushed to her residence to ask her family for names and addresses of people who had visited them since March 10 -- the date of her return from Saudi Arabia.
"Her son was not very cooperative, so we had to seek the help of the local police to get information. We also used footage from the CCTV cameras installed near their home to identify people who needed to be put under surveillance," said Nayak.
Out of the 11 points that lead to Sector L of Dilshad Garden, which reported most cases, nine were completely shut with police barricades.
"Neither vehicles nor pedestrians were allowed, nor even essential services. The authorities also announced through microphones to appraise the residents about the situation and urged them to come out if they have met the family," Nayak added.
The 123 medical teams surveyed the houses and asked a set of questions.
"Any person who had met the family was quarantined or shifted to the GTB hospital for medical treatment and testing. Along with this, an action plan was prepared with the help of the District Magistrate of Shahdara. The government took help from the police and the MCD."
Nayak said the government is still tracking the people of the area and if there are symptoms, then they are being quarantined.
"The Delhi government will also initiate random testing of the residents soon. By working round the clock in the last 15 days, 'SHIELD' was successful at Dilshad Garden. There is not a single positive case in the last 10 days from the area," Nayak added.
Speaking to the media, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said Dilshad Garden was the first successful implementation of Operation SHIELD.
"I feared a massive COVID-19 outbreak in the Dilshad Garden area after several people were found positive. It was transmitted from the woman who returned from Saudi Arabia and found COVID-19 positive," Jain said.
After the woman was found coronavirus positive, he said, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal instructed to implement Operation SHIELD at Dilshad Garden.
"The hard work of the health officials and the successful implementation of the Operation SHIELD made Dilshad Garden 'Coronavirus-free'", Jain said.
Delhi has so far reported more than 700 coronavirus cases, with about 60 per cent from Nizamuddin Markaz alone. Over 2,300 people from different parts of the country and world were rescued from Markaz earlier this month.