Mandatory complete blood count (CBC) tests, daily temperature checks, being accompanied by employers when passing common areas and work on alternate days — as resident welfare associations of most gated condos in Gurgaon allow domestic workers, drivers and gardeners to get back to work, they are also putting new norms in place.
On Monday, several RWAs lifted restrictions by sending out forms to residents, asking them to list names and details of domestic helps they intended to call back to work.
Among them was Princeton Estate, where domestic helps were allowed from Monday, while drivers and car cleaners will be permitted from Tuesday and Wednesday. Here, domestic helps have been divided into two batches supposed to work on alternate days, and their entry will be allowed only once a day, “to avoid overcrowding” in common spaces. For drivers, residents have been asked to call them in a way that ensures “free time available between trips is minimised”.
In an email to residents, the RWA directed that the helps be “guided on phone” regarding precautions, and that residents ensure they are Covid free. “You are advised to get the concerned test,” it states.
While a test is only on advice at Princeton Estate, the same has been made mandatory at The Summit in DLF5, with a circular issued by the RWA informing residents: “All maids, drivers, gardeners, basement laundrymen and car cleaners will have to undergo the basic CBC blood test before starting work and then as per doctor’s advice.” The circular adds that the cost of the test will have to be borne by the resident.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Jaswant Singh Punia, however, said, “A CBC test is unrelated to Covid. Separate tests have to be done to check if a person has the infection.”
Dipak Roy, member of the condominium’s Board of Management, said, “The CBC is to see if there is anything wrong. It is to check if there is any kind of infection, as people with low immunity could be more susceptible. One of our doctor residents suggested this. It has nothing to do with coronavirus.”
The RWA of The Summit has also restricted timings for entry of part-time helps from “8 am to 4 pm to avoid crowding” and ensure guards are able to “monitor” their movements.
Concern on the time domestic helps spend in common spaces appears frequently in communications of several RWAs. Unitech Fresco has taken this a step further, directing residents to accompany helps from the tower lobby to their flats “so that the maid doesn’t touch the lift buttons”. When helps reach the lobby of the condominium, the email states, guards “will check his/her name in the list and inform the resident to come and escort her to the flat”. They have escort the help again once the work is finished.
In many condominiums, however, many residents are still choosing to refrain from calling their domestic helps.
Nilesh Tandon, president of the Fresco RWA, said, “We began this exercise last week, where we asked residents who wanted to call their helps to fill up forms. As of Sunday evening, around 350 requests had come, which means only around 33% of the residents here requested for their helps to be allowed entry again.”
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