Bhatt humbly claimed the success was no “rocket science”. “We got full cooperation from the state government. 

New Delhi: The ‘Bhilwara model’ has been so successful in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in a hotspot that the central government has asked states to replicate its mantra of “ruthless containment”. But Bhilwara’s 56-year-old collector/district magistrate, who was in charge of implementing the plan and has been credited with its conceptualisation, remained cautious about declaring victory just yet.

“I think we have to wait until 1 May to be sure that we’ve completely eliminated the virus,” Rajendra Bhatt told.“I want that three cycles of isolation, testing and quarantining should be complete before we can claim victory.”

The textile town of Bhilwara in Rajasthan had become one of the hotspots of the Covid-19 outbreak, registering 27 positive cases and two deaths.

But the strategy adopted by the district administration has ensured that Bhilwara has not registered any new Covid-19 cases in 10 days, and chief secretaries of all states are now seeking to emulate it.

Bhatt humbly claimed the success was no “rocket science”. “We got full cooperation from the state government. When we (at the district level) said that we need to seal the border, the government did it immediately — no questions asked,” he said.

“When we said we cannot let anyone enter the district or leave their homes within the district, the government did it immediately. The Epidemic Act was imposed immediately giving the DM all the powers to take over hospitals, hotels, etc. So, it was a joint effort,” he added.

But while Bhatt credits his superiors and subordinates for the “joint effort”, officials in Rajasthan, including those from Bhatt’s team, say he is a DM like no other.

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