Entry restricted, Gurugram condos prepare for lockdown
With the number of Covid-19 cases in Gurugram increasing four, some condominiums have gone into confinement while others are gearing up for a lockdown. From imposing restrictions on the entry of external vendors and domestic workers to stopping the delivery of newspapers, these plush condos are trying to take firm steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Some condominiums with Covid-infected residents are under quarantine, in accordance with government rules, while some others have prohibited the entry of delivery persons inside the towers. Residents have also been advised to give breaks to domestic workers as pre-emptive steps towards an anticipated lockdown.
South Close in Nirvana Country, a condominium in Sector 50 where a couple tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week, told its residents that lockdown measures were being implemented in consultation with government authorities. “Given the current situation, we are entering a lockdown phase of the community to prevent movement of individuals in and out of the property,” stated an advisory shared with residents.
Until March 27, all families were asked to strictly self-quarantine and not exit the premises at all. Individuals who recently returned from abroad were asked not to walk outside and stay within their houses. The advisory said that residents spotted flouting the rules would be notified and reported to authorities and local police, the advisory said.
Starting Saturday evening, no support staff coming from outside will be given entry to the complex. All food and courier delivery shall be collected outside the residential towers in a designated area that is disinfected regularly.
Park Place in Sector 54 has also imposed restrictions on casual staff, drivers, and condominium staff, and is preparing a plan for complete lockdown, said Yogesh Saini, a resident. “The decision on deployment of skeletal staff in the case of complete lockdown has been taken. This will be imposed immediately on getting instructions from the concerned authorities,” stated an advisory shared with residents on Thursday.
To protect the complex from disease carriers, La Lagune in Sector 54 has put in place meticulous screening at its gate for workers and staff. At the end of the screening process, the workers’ hands are stamped with “checked” to show their clearance. “Every staff and helper is checked for temperature. Then they have to wash their hands at the washstand, after which they are stamped on their hands. Only after this, they are they allowed to go in,” said Deepak Virmani, the estate manager of the property.
Residents and visitors are also screened for temperature and made to wash their hands before entering. Unless someone objects, their hands are stamped too.
The Legend in Sector 57 is not allowing external vendors to enter the towers, and a decision on restricting the entry of domestic help is likely soon. Shashank Jogi, the secretary of the condominium, said that even if a complete lockdown happens, medicine shops in the condominium will stay open. “There is also a possibility that house help from nearby villages might be stopped in the coming days, which is likely to create trouble for us,” said Asha Rani, a resident.
At the Ivy Apartments, Sushant Lok Phase I, residents have been advised to avoid direct physical contact with the delivery person and are advised to keep a tray outside their apartments where the courier man can place the item. Residents have also been asked to avoid cash-on-delivery services.
One of Gurugram’s oldest condominiums, Silver Oaks, in Sector 26 has prohibited various app-based services inside the condominium. Tariq Raza, president, Silver Oaks Condominium Association, said restrictions had been imposed on the entry of people since Tuesday in light of Covid-19 threat. “Unlike other condominiums in the city, Silver Oaks has 15 gates which meant that people could enter from multiple points. We have restricted the entry of domestic help, drivers, and other delivery persons. Delivery persons need to deposit commodities at a dedicated space from where people can come and collect the items. There will be no human-to-human contact,” said Raza.
He added that the decision was driven by the fact that a vast majority of senior citizens reside in the complex. “Almost 50% of the population of Silver Oaks comprises senior citizens, who are at high risk to the coronavirus disease. Social distancing is our priority at the moment,” said Raza. He added that residents were being informed about the necessity of reducing the number of people coming to the condominium. “I have given offs to all three helps at my house. We are not going out, and managing ourselves,” said Raza.
James Abraham, a resident at World Spa, said that people with a temperature above 99 degrees Celsius were being asked to leave the delivery at the gate, whereas those with normal temperatures could only deliver it till the lobby. He added that complete entry might be prohibited or other changes might be incorporated going forward in time. “We are preparing quarantine-instruction kits so that eventually when people get sick, they are prepared to quarantine at home,” said Abraham.
DLF Pinnacle is restricting the entry of all visitors to the service lobby of the condominium. “We are not allowing any delivery persons to go near the apartments,” said Jai Yadav, estate manager, DLF Pinnacle, adding that residents with an international travel history had been asked to home-quarantine.
Dr Jaswant Singh Punia, chief medical officer (CMO), Gurugram, said that social distancing and isolation were the only ways of controlling the spread of Covid-19 and the need of the hour was to strictly maintain a safe distance from each other.
“It’s good that condominiums are implementing the measures that we have been suggesting since the outbreak of Covid-19. All residential complexes need to ensure that disinfectants are used at least thrice in common areas and ensure that support staff are sanitized at all times,” said Punia
(With inputs from Sharanya Munsi)