Covid clusters: Way forward for Bengaluru apartments?

Way forward for Bengaluru apartments: Careful till Covid-19 vaccination is completed, impact assessed

As fears of a second wave surface, what lessons were learnt and not learnt from the first wave of Covid-19 outbreak?

Frontline Covid-19 warriors take rest after receiving a vaccine shot at Dasappa Hospital in Bengaluru. Credit: DH Photo/Janardhan B K

The country is seeing a Covid-19 resurgence, indicated by the recent spurt in cases in a few Bengaluru apartments. A complete lockdown is now unthinkable in a country struggling to recover its economy affected by last year’s heavy restrictions.

But as the fears of a second wave surface, what lessons were learnt and not learnt from the pandemic outbreak before, and what is the way forward for the apartments?

DH interacts with a cross-section of Bengalureans to look for answers.

Read | Lowering of guard: Bengaluru apartments must try to stop coronavirus surge

Swathy Chandra, a private hospital nurse, notes, “People should be careful till the vaccination drive is completed and its impact assessed. The main reason for the increase in Covid-19 cases is people becoming less guarded. The unlocking process does not mean the coronavirus has gone.”

“If we observe, all around us we can find a lot of people walking without a mask or not using a sanitiser. The government has to enforce protocols or SOPs as people are taking it lightly. In apartments, earlier nobody used to go out. But now, people who are even working from home are casually going out for parties and meetups during weekends,” Swathy points out.

Socialisation, she says, is necessary. “But one has to be careful not to go to big gatherings. Going to a party is not like meeting two or three friends, it is giving a high chance for the virus to spread,” she elaborates.

The reopening of public places has had a major role in the increase of cases. Arun Chand C, who stays in an apartment in Koramangala, has this to say: “The reopening of schools, colleges and other public places is the reason why we are seeing a second surge in Covid- 19 cases.”

“We cannot avoid going to schools or avoid socialisation. So the best way is to prevent it. Try to follow safety measures such as using a sanitiser, wearing a mask and keeping social distance. Also, those who have senior citizens at home must be a little more cautious about interacting,” says Arun.

The number of daily tests has reduced. This has made people believe that the spread of the coronavirus is now reduced. Shon George, a student, says: “Increase the number of tests so that we can identify more cases and can prevent further spread.”

Checking only a few apartments will not help the situation. “Everyone needs essential services such as healthcare, grocery, fruits and vegetables. The apartment people will get affected only when they interact with outsiders. So blaming a few dwellers is not a solution.”

Benila Thomas, who stays in an apartment in Begur, says: “The resurgence of Covid-19 cases is due to lack of awareness. The government should ensure that healthcare workers, as they did during the initial phases of the lockdown, visit each house or apartment in order to spread awareness and check the situation.”

She emphasises the use of masks, sanitisers and checking temperature whenever people go out of the house as well as they come back. People must also try to avoid parties, gettogether and unnecessary trips. “Be with family for society,” she adds.

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