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Housing societies take independent calls on Covid tests for domestic helpers

With no uniform orders by the government on antigen tests or RT-PCR tests for domestic helpers – housing societies in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), are taking independent calls on conducting tests
By Jigar Hindocha, Pune
UPDATED ON APR 28, 2021 09:22 PM IST

With no uniform orders by the government on antigen tests or RT-PCR tests for domestic helpers – housing societies in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), are taking independent calls on conducting tests.

In Pune, there are 10,000 registered housing societies and some of them are making these tests compulsory.

“We are following what the government has said. If societies who want to conduct tests, they can arrange it for themselves, but no compulsion has been made from our side,” said Suhas Patwardhan, chairman, Pune district cooperative housing federation limited.

“In my society we have not made it compulsory. I feel domestic workers are more aware about the current scenario and they are keeping their health in check. My maid said that she has to take care of two families – one her own and second, ours, so she gives top priority to her health,” said Rajendra Chuttar, president, Baner-Pashan Link Road welfare trust.

In Wagholi, people have taken extra precautions and only allowed maids at homes where the residents need medical attention.

“Since the last 15 days, we have put restrictions on the entry of domestic helpers in the society and are only permitting them at homes where there are health issues. We are conducting RT-PCR tests at regular intervals,” said Sanjeev Patil, director, Wagholi Housing Societies Association (WHSA).

In PCMC, since April 20, rapid antigen tests are being conducted at various societies. The initiative is undertaken jointly by PCMC and Deepak Foundation, which have conducted tests in 18 housing societies as of April 28.

“Every day we are conducting tests at two societies. Along with domestic helpers, we also conducting tests of families whose maids tested positive, as a precautionary measure,” said Tejaswini Sawai, chairperson, Pimpri-Chinchwad Cooperative Housing Societies Federation.

On Wednesday, tests were conducted at Nandan Inspera society in Wakad where 90 domestic helpers, which include maids, security guards, car washers and gardeners, were tested.

“Society members agreed for the test as it is beneficial for all. Domestic workers were also willing to do a test, so the drive was conducted smoothly,” said Sachin Londhe, chairman of the society.

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