Chandigarh’s Sector 21 lane cordoned off after first Covid-19 case discovered
The streets of Sector 21D wore a deserted look on Thursday morning except for two healthcare officers after the city’s first confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) came to the fore at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32 a day before.
All 18 houses on the lane where the patient, a 23-year-old girl who had come from the United Kingdom (UK) on Sunday, lives in a one kanal house was sealed off on Thursday afternoon. But before the police and the medical team arrived, residents took things into their own hands.
Federation of Sectors Welfare Association Chandigarh (FOSWAC) chairman and president of Sector 21 RWA Baljinder Singh Bittu lives right opposite to the infected girl’s house and had to swing into action after seeing no effort to cordon off the area in the morning. “The medical team had come to sanitise the house in the morning but we had to send our own servants and gardeners to keep people like cyclists, pedestrians and cart-pullers away from the area. My driver had met with their (family of the patient) driver and now, he wants to get tested, but the officials haven’t tested him yet.”
Bittu added that after the area was barricaded in the afternoon around 1pm, residents inside weren’t stopped from stepping out, but residents chose to stay indoors and had enough supplies to get by. Meanwhile, fogging was carried out to sanitise the sector.
Another resident of Sector 21, and a friend of the family under observation, Sandeep Bhalla said the whole sector has been locked down. “A bhog was organised on Friday at their house with a function later at the Sector 21 gurdwara, but it saw little participation as people were being cautious.” He added that his family used to routinely meet the family under observation at a yoga class, but since the classes were cancelled a week ago, they hadn’t met. He also added that all residents of the sector had stocked up on masks and sanitizers and had even purchased masks for their domestic helps.
Another immediate neighbour Suresh Sharma said he shared a gardener with the affected family and the gardener had also been kept under observation by the medical officers.
MARKETS REMAIN UNAFFECTED
Even as the residents were on high alert, it was business as usual at the Sector 21 market with no sudden dips in sales as per the shopkeepers there. General secretary of the market welfare committee Ashwani Khanna said business had been low the whole week, but there was no significant dip. The petrol pumps in Sector 21 also reported that things were normal. Colonel (retd) Harjeet Kapoor, owner of a petrol pump here, said business was normal without much variation.