How to Fight with Coronavirus?


The housing societies in India have to be on their guards to save their residents from coronavirus infection. They are being guided by the RWA regarding how to deal with this spread of the virus in the communities near them.

There are health ministry guidelines for the gated societies which specify the dos and don’ts for the residents living in a housing society. Discussions are going on about the rights, responsibilities, and powers, etc. for the RWAs. The present situation needs preparedness, care but not panic. Lakhs of people have lost their lives after getting affected by the virus. All over the world, all the schools, colleges, offices, gyms, malls, theatres, and the life of the people have been severely affected. General life has been paralyzed. The situation is unprecedented and the crisis looks unsurmountable. Some regions have started the unlocking process in a gradual manner and with lots of caution. Housing societies and apartments have come up with new rules in the present situation. There are many restrictions imposed on the people for their safety. These strict measures have to be followed. Those who have no symptoms of the disease but are exposed to an infected person should go for the quarantine. The period of quarantine is for 14 days during which the person will not go out of the apartment nor will he board public transport. In case they need essential goods or medicines, these will be delivered at his doorstep. You are not supposed to run errands.

Rules to be followed by family members of a person infected by Coronavirus:

  1. In case an infected person needs help, only one member of the family will provide it.
  2. You shouldn’t handle the used clothes of an infected person directly with your hands. You shouldn’t wash these clothes in the family washing machine with the clothes of other family members.
  3. You should use sanitizer before and after meeting an infected person. You should change your clothes after coming in contact with them.
  4. Even if only one family member is infected, the rest of the family should go for a 14-day quarantine. It should be observed that even if nobody shows signs of infection.
  5. In case there are symptoms, one should go for immediate testing.
  6. Everything that the infected person has touched, should be disinfected.
  7. There should be separate soaps, shampoo, towels, etc. for every person in the family.
  8. The visitors shouldn’t be allowed into the housing society.
  9. There should be provision for a separate room with gloves, hair cover, masks, gowns, sanitizers, single-use towels, and surface cleaners. There should be a disposable bag with a label with instructions to handle with care.
  10. Coronavirus helpline number should be known to all the members of the family.
  11. You should make arrangements to dispose of the waste like bio-medical waste or vomit.
  12. Soaking dirty clothes in chlorine for half an hour is advised. You should remember to wash your hands thoroughly after the washing of the clothes.
  13. Don’t visit anyone who has just returned from a journey, especially from a corona-affected region.
  14. Avoid assemblies or congregations to maintain social distancing.
  15. The areas from where the corona has been reported are usually sealed by the municipal corporations. There is a ban on the entry or exit of all vehicles.

Apart from this observance of rules, one should desist from stigmatizing a person or family. A family should not be ostracised. It will bring embarrassment or humiliation to them. You should rather help them by getting the provisions and medical supplies for them. You can leave them at the doorstep. You shouldn’t enter the room. Quarantine and social distancing are precautionary measures only. You should be in touch with others through other mediums like a mobile phone or the internet.

Tips for using common utilities

  1. Playgrounds with swings and slides should be closed temporarily. It will save the children. Children should be kept indoors. These swings and slips in the parks can allure them out of their homes.
  2. Gyms, yoga centres, and meditation rooms should be kept at the bay.
  3. You should avoid going to the clubhouses.
  4. You shouldn’t use public washrooms or taps.
  5. A hand rub or a sanitizer should be placed near the elevators of a building.
  6. The lounges or reception areas within societies must be used when it’s necessary.
  7. There should be housekeeping staff in proper gear to wash the area frequently.
  8. Medical and other waste should not be dumped in an open ground. This is strictly not followed by all the housing societies.
  9. Be careful while using elevator switches, doorknobs, bells, newspapers, car doors, shop counters, couriers, shared cabs, public transport, etc.
  10. Be careful while handling milk packets.

A code of conduct should be practised by all societies. There should not be any assembly of people. You should postpone any event that was planned before. Children should be engaged at home so that they don’t insist on going outdoors.

Government Advisory for residential complexes Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released an advisory for gated residential communities in the face of the Corona crisis. RWAs have to play a crucial role in this regard. The government has given the following tips:

  • There should be awareness through posters, standees, and audiovisuals for the residents.
  • Sanitizers should be available for all.
  • Thermal screening should be arranged for all, including domestic help, cleaners, etc.
  • A distance of six ft should be maintained between persons in public places
  • Gatherings should be avoided
  • Social distancing norms should be followed even in the parks and gardens
  • Elevators should not be overcrowded
  • The areas inside the residential complexes should be regularly sanitized.
  • RWAs should ask the residents to inform the authorities if there are any symptoms
  • RWAs should inform the residents about the government directives
  • RWAs should be well-equipped to take any affected resident to the nearest health centre
  • Any fake news or rumour regarding the virus should be discouraged by the RWA
  • The associations should make available the masks, pulse oximeter, soaps, and water supply, OTC drugs, ORS, Paracetamol, etc.

Guidelines to Societies by RWA

  • Encourage residents to report cases of infection and facilitate testing, isolation, and quarantine of infected patients.
  • Counsel and support affected persons. You should support the families. You should pay more attention to members living alone.
  • Arrange for risk assessment to manage the problem
  • Discourage stigma against those infected by the virus

Advisory on use of ACs in public/common areas

  • The temperature setting should be in the range of 24-30 degrees.
  • The humidity range should be within 40%-70%.
  • Recirculation of air to avoid as much as possible.
  • Encourage cross-ventilation and intake of fresh air.

 The general advisory from the Ministry 

  • Persons should be encouraged to stay at home and meet people/guests, only if very necessary. It is especially for those above 60 years of age.
  • The physical distancing of six ft to maintain.
  • Face covers or masks should be used.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Wash them for at least 40 seconds.
  • Use sanitizers for 20 seconds, whenever required.
  • When you sneeze, always use a tissue or handkerchief or flex your elbow to sneeze on it to minimize the risk of transmission.
  • Do not shy away from reporting illness.
  • Spitting in public places is prohibited.

List of 10 things to avoid during Coronavirus

  • Do not self-medicate. Don’t advise medicines to others.
  • Do not rely upon ill-fitting masks made at home.
  • Do not use the phone in a public place. Wear masks.
  • Do not buy unbranded sanitizer
  • Do not overuse sanitizers. When at home, prefer soap and water.
  • Do not wear masks used by other family members.
  • Do not let children wear ill-fitting masks and protective gear.
  • Do not hide your condition from others, especially if they are your visitors.
  • Do not violate home quarantine rules.

 Strategies to adopt, post-lockdown

  • Do not leave your home without your mask and sanitizer.
  • Download the AarogyaSetu app.
  • Use face shields, gloves, PPE, etc.
  • Treat all the safety and protective clothing as biohazards.

The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897

Provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 has been brought in to combat (Coronavirus) COVID-19 across many states. The provision helps authorities to put in place emergency steps to minimise the risk and spread of coronavirus in this case. Note that apart from such steps, the Act also empowers authorities to take action in the following cases:

  1. Any person not obeying regulations or instructions issued as per this act shall be persecuted under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Know of someone like this? Approach the authorities.
  2. No legal proceedings shall lie against any person for any action that has been done under the provisions of this Act. However, ensure that you are not misusing this privilege.

The Disaster Management Act, 2005 (to bring into action immediate steps to check the pandemic’s outbreak) and the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (with the objective of preventing black-marketing , hoarding of essential items like sanitisers and masks) have also been implemented.

A code of conduct to be practised in society premises to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus

  • Do not assemble in large gatherings. Postpone celebrations.
  • Ask the local body to fumigate the area and adjoining areas
  • Put banners and pamphlets to spread awareness
  • If there is someone with a suspected infection, quarantine must be exercised.
  • If you are down with a virus, quarantine yourself.

Avoid interaction as far as possible and restrict yourself from meeting outsiders without any cause. Social distancing is the need of the time and all should abide by it. keep the elderly and children safe and at home. Educate the underprivileged like the security guards, helping hands, etc. Use AarogyaSetu App to fight (Coronavirus) COVID 19 virus. It alerts you about someone in the vicinity having been infected.

Also Read:

Coronavirus Impact on the Property Markets 2020

Impact of coronavirus on the construction sector

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