Coronavirus: Old-age homes in Bengaluru curb visitors to protect residents

Last Updated 27 March 2020, 07:42 IST

The city’s eldercare and old-age homes are laying down restrictions to shield residents from exposure to COVID-19.

Besides asking families not to make frequent visits, the institutions for the elderly have cancelled outdoor activities, amid warnings from doctors that elderly people, pregnant women and people with diabetes run the highest risk of contracting the virus due to low immunity.

“We have stopped families from coming,” confirmed Dr Radha S Murthy, managing trustee, Nightingales Medical Trust, that has both residential and daycare facilities for elderly citizens. “The guardians (of the elderly people) could have returned from a trip abroad.”

The elderly residents are also not allowed to go out since they might bring the infection to the institution. Inmates at both residential and daycare facilities are taught basic precautions to steer clear of the virus, such as regular hand washing.

“We are asking them to look out for the symptoms. We are also limiting people coming to the daycare,” Dr Murthy added.

A similar curb on outsiders is in place at the Punahchethana Foundation, where an advisory on the infection has also been given to outsiders.

“Access (to outsiders) has been restricted to the office area,” chairman and founder Deepa G said, pointing out that they were earlier allowed on the floor. “Even if someone has a cough or cold, we give them masks,” she added.

The foundation has been serving only boiled water to the inmates and has banned outside food.

Other institutions like Navachaitanya Old Age Home, while finding it harder to refuse family visits, are giving masks if the visitors show flu-like symptoms. “We can’t restrict access to families,” said the home’s director, Manjula Shubhashree. “Some of them understand, but others create trouble. Even inmates showing symptoms are given masks.”

(Published 27 March 2020, 02:40 IST)

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