Having maintained strict covid-19 safety protocols from the outset, the village of Gundepalli in Nallajarla Mandal of West Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh has remained covid free both in the first and second waves of the dreaded pandemic that has gripped the nation.
Sarpanch KNVV Prasad attributes the achievement to the collective efforts of the village community including children who played a significant role in conforming to the covid safety protocols and passing on key messages to others in the community. As a result, people in the village continue to move about freely.
The village that is home to 330 households and a population of 1300 has not registered a single case of covid thus far.
The Sarpanch informs that a strict vigil was maintained at both the entry points to the village. In this regard, both Asha and Anganwadi workers monitored entry of visitors from morning till night.
On their part, the community wore masks each time they stepped out and soon got accustomed to using hand sanitizers frequently. Masks were distributed to all families and the Panchayat Secretary would go around the village around 4 times a day, checking to see if people adhered to the safety protocols.
When it came to celebratory functions, the maximum number was limited to 10 – be it for weddings or other functions including the bride and bridegroom. Most of the families did not organise any functions or attend other events outside the village, for more than a year.
Besides, drinking water sources and other public spaces were disinfected on a regular basis and people were reminded of the importance of maintaining hygiene and safe sanitation.
A WhatsApp group was created since the start of covid in 2020 itself and the platform continues to be used to disseminate information to prevent covid infection, symptoms to watch out for and precautions to be taken in the event of contracting the viral infection.