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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Coronavirus outbreak: In Gurgaon, residents unclear about why their societies have been sealed

Coronavirus (COVID-19): “It was only when we heard of police having barricaded the entrance that we realised our condominiums were also sealed,” said a resident of The Summit.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Gurgaon | Updated: April 11, 2020 1:04:45 pm
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Coronavirus (COVID-19): A day after nine areas in Gurgaon were declared “containment zones” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, RWA officials said they were still awaiting direct communication from the district administration.

In Sector 54, for instance, residents woke up to uncertainty. With the order issued Thursday evening unclear about whether the area was a containment zone, it was the barricading at the entrance to Park Drive in DLF5, which houses three major condominiums, that became the first sign of sealing.

“It was only when we heard of police having barricaded the entrance that we realised our condominiums were also sealed,” said a resident of The Summit.

As per the order issued by the District Magistrate, the areas declared containment zones are Sector 9, Nirvana Country, Palam Vihar, Emaar Palm Gardens, Laburnum Society, Sector 39, Fazilpur Jharsa village, ward 11 of Pataudi, and Raipur village in Sohna. Gurgaon has recorded 32 cases, with 12 having recovered.

In an order Friday evening, the DM clarified that both Sector 54 and Nirvana Country were containment zones. A spokesperson of the district administration said: “The area SDM, along with the ACP or SHO, has to determine the boundary of the containment zone and manage entry and exit.”

“Identifying and declaring containment zones is a dynamic process, which will be reviewed every five days,” he said.

Many residents, however, wondered why the sealing was taking place now when cases had been reported from these localities weeks ago. At Nirvana Country, a couple who returned from London had tested positive last month. They have since recovered. But the area, which officials say houses over 3,000 families, has been sealed. “We have not received any communication from the district administration on why our area was sealed. We had two cases around 20-22 days ago; both have been discharged. No new cases have been reported since,” said Rohit Chopra, general secretary of the RWA.

At Laburnum in Sushant Lok, home to around 230 families, and where one person had tested positive last month and was discharged on Friday, RWA officials said they had received no communication from the administration.

“We have been in touch with the Deputy Commissioner and the Badshahpur SDM, they said they will give us a clarification,” said a member of the RWA.

Residents said access to essentials items is unlikely to be an issue. A resident of Unitech Fresco said, “We have a lot of general needs stores and chemists operating within Nirvana Country.”

Officials from the district administration also assured residents that the sealing would not hinder supply of items, and that online delivery of essential items would be allowed.

The Gurgaon health department also began door-to-door screenings of residents to identify those with symptoms. “Nineteen teams have been constituted to screen members of all houses and note their travel history. If anyone has influenza-like symptoms, a rapid antibody test will be done. If there is an infection, their swabs will be taken for further testing,” said Dr Jaswant Singh Punia, Chief Medical Officer of Gurgaon.

At Nirvana Country, the RWA General Secretary confirmed a team arrived on Friday morning and began screening.

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