With India having over 400 Coronavirus cases, some homes and apartments now under quarantine
For the first time in India, entire apartments and houses are being put under quarantine due to the coronavirus outbreak. While both the central and the state governments are asking citizens to practice social distancing to avoid contracting COVID-19, some apartments and homes are being locked down in order.
In some parts of South Delhi, notices were put outside homes and apartment complexes that stated which flat was being quarantined, and whether someone had been tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
While this measure might seem seclusionary, Revathy Ashok, Co-Founder of Strategy Garage and Honorary CEO of BPAC, told YourStory that putting up notices was important for tracing those who have possibly been in contact with anyone who have tested positive.
“While the privacy of individuals and their homes have to be protected, there also needs to be steps taken to counsel and create awareness. These measures have been taken by the government to ensure the traceability of some form. Contact tracing plays a very critical and crucial role. The idea is to let us understand that if you have come in touch with any of the people who have been infected, it is important to notify the authorities immediately.”
This comes after over 80 cities and districts were put under lockdown to curb the movement of people. Many states now have Section 144 and curfews imposed, while cities like Mumbai also have shut down food delivery services like Swiggy. Recently, a 68-year-old woman was tested positive for coronavirus in a crowded Mumbai slum. She had contracted the virus from one of the homes where she works as a house help.
The rise in the number of cases of domestic transmission has led to governments resorting to stricter measures. The spread of coronavirus been significantly increasing with different people who have come in contact with people who have a travel history and haven’t been in self-isolation.
The Karnataka Government, in a recent circular dated March 23, 2020, has stated that all foreign returnees shall remain in strict home quarantine. Violation of home quarantine will entail penal action and persons will be shifted to government quarantine centres. Karnataka has now exercised Section 2, 3 and 4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.
Still, several apartment complexes in Cunningham Road, Bengaluru, and Whitefield and different parts of Mumbai have locked down the buildings. Revathy adds,
“They have on their own accord locked-down apartment complexes for 10 to 15 days and have given clear instructions to delivery boys about drop points, and made arrangements for pickups. These measures go a long way in helping curb the spread of Coronavirus. People in apartment complexes have also been advised not to take evening walks, as nobody knows who can be a carrier. It is a collective responsibility that there be no further spread of the pandemic.”
Recently, a music concert held in Chowdiah Memorial Hall on March 12, was attended by a person who tested positive later. The authorities have been in touch with whoever has come in contact with that person.
“It is a community responsibility to reach out and inform the government. The idea is to not cause panic, but to ensure the safety of the larger base of people. Educating as many people as possible is very critical. And some of the steps taken by the government are way forward towards that.”
It is difficult for authorities to survey over 1.3 billion people, and the sets of people who have travelled abroad, being in large groups need to come out and give the information. “Hiding information just makes the problem worst,” she adds.
As of Monday, the number of coronavirus cases in India has touched 433 as per the latest ICMR report, with eight deaths being confirmed.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)