Friday, July 24, 2020

COVID-19 is closer home

(This post has multiple updates at the end)

One of the residents of our apartment complex tested positive for coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2 as it is officially called, on the 22nd.

He has been running fever 100.22 F / 37.9 C since the 19th, and to be on the safe side, he got a test done at one of the well-known private hospitals. 

Normally, at a government facility, a test is done only if there are symptoms, and if the fever is above 100 F / 37.7 C. The doctor confirmed COVID-19, and he advised home quarantine. But some private hospitals do let you take the test even if the fever is below 100 F. 

(Last month, a friend of mine -- who had severe throat pain and had a fever of 99.7 F/ 37.6 C -- was told he needn't get himself tested for the virus. (A test won't be done without a doctor's prescription.) He recovered after 10 days but thinks he had COVID-19.)

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

In the evening, civic officials visited our apartment block, recorded the contact numbers of people he had come in contact with, and sprayed disinfectants all over the place, including on the doors of each apartment, lifts etc. 

They were happy with the safety precautions our resident association has taken. We have to compulsorily wear masks outdoors. Maids have to wear face-covering even while working in different houses. All home delivery items are left at a designated spot near the gate, and we have to go and pick them up. Anyone from outside is allowed in only if s/he is wearing a mask and only after being checked for high temperature.

We have emergency medical equipment on hand, just in case a need arises. We also have nearby a healthcare facility. They have offered their services to anyone in the apartment who might need basic medical intervention.

AREA ISOLATED

The immediate vicinity around the flat of the patient has been kind of sealed, with movement in those areas restricted. The rule is that an area around 100 meters around the infected person's house is cordoned off.

Yesterday morning, he put out a message in our WhatsApp group informing all of us that his fever has reduced and that he is generally getting well. That message was quite reassuring and calming.

Even though in our complex, the restriction is only on that particular floor where the patient stays, all of us are careful and we are not venturing out needlessly. Children usually come out to play in the foreground, but they are now conspicuous by their absence.

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION

According to the patient, he could have got it when he visited a supermarket. It's well-known that most of the big cities have entered the community transmission stage, but that is something most governments, not just in India, but around the world, are hesitant to accept. 

There is only one exception, I can think of: the government of Kerala state, which not only acknowledged that it's community transmission but is also giving out every day the number of people who have been infected via that route. 

It's important that community transmission is acknowledged officially since that will flag the seriousness of the current situation and thereby prod people into being a lot more careful than they are now.

SITUATION IN INDIA AND BENGALURU

The number of positive cases has been steadily going up every day. But the brighter side is that the number of recoveries has also been on the rise. Yesterday over 49,000 were confirmed positive across the country. 

India population: 1.35 billion
Active cases now: 440,135
Total recovered: 817,209
Total deaths: 30,601
Total number of infections: 1.2 million 
(As of July 23)

The graphs on the NDTV website gives a good indication of the trajectory, nationally and state-wise.

The numbers in Bengaluru also has been on the rise. Yesterday, there were 2,207 positive cases.

Bengaluru population: 8.4 million
Active cases now: 29,090
Total recovered: 9,326
Total deaths: 784
Total number of infections: 39,200 
(As of July 23)

The local civic administration, BBMP, has a reasonably good website giving not only regular updates but also detailed graphics on how the city has been faring ever since the first case was detected on March 8.


We just need to be patient and calm to see this through.

I hope you, and all your near and dear too, are safe. 

Take care.

------------

Update on Sunday, July 26

We now have a second case in the apartment complex. 

This person had a minor cold on Tuesday. He woke up on Wednesday with a fever. On Thursday, he booked a test at a nearby private hospital for Friday morning. But when he went for the test, the temperature had come down considerably. Late that night, the results came as positive. He is already on road to recovery.

He is someone who hasn't gone out of the apartment complex in the last two weeks. The only route of infection, he suspects, could be an e-commerce parcel that he had received from the delivery boy.

Update on Wednesday, July 28

The wife and daughter of the second patient have also tested positive. Their condition also is mild.

The Resident Association has revised rules for package delivery protocol since there is a strong suspicion that the parcels could be a source of infection. Now, all packets except food items will be sprayed with a disinfectant and kept at the security gate for a couple of hours. After that, the addressee will be informed, and s/he can come and pick it up.   


16 comments:

  1. Hi Pradeep - sorry to hear your news but it seems to be under control as best it can be ... it's a really nasty disease. You're lucky with your situation ... in the circumstances we find ourselves in. I do feel for so many others around the world ... stay safe - Hilary

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  2. I am happy to note your apartment complex is very well prepared and the people living there are careful and live by the rules. Wish people in USA follow the government guidelines (like wearing a mask in public all the time).

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  3. How scary. I'm glad your neighbor's fever is down. I hope he makes a full recovery. Keep wearing your mask. It seems to be the best bet to avoid catching it.

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  4. Did you come into contact with your neighbor? That would be easy to do. Scary when it comes so close.

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  5. I think it's important for us not to panic. Getting into an agitated state of mind generally makes us do things that we ought not to do.

    In Chennai, the numbers are quite high. We don't venture into declared hotspot areas but one never knows where we might contact the virus. People have become complacent nowadays - they stand in tea shops, etc. as groups and don't bother to wear masks or maintain social distancing.

    Fortunately since I work from home, I don't venture outside unless it's essential.

    However, while being cautious, I have decided not to panic. We are wired to do the best possible thing at any given situation. And we take better decisions when we are calmer.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Hi Rajesh - Not panicking is an important point. You are right. We take better decisions when we are calm. We need to be cautious. Yes, big cities are all in a mess, mainly because of the large number of people.

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  6. A very nice write up and I could relate to it very well as a member of an apartment complex and was affected by the covid virus

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    1. Hi KP - Thanks. Do take care and stay safe.

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  7. Nice your apartment comes up with those safety measures. Yes, the Tamil Nadu government too denies the community transmission as you may know we’re the second lead in country and in last few days we count 5,000 on daily basis. Btw. one of our tenants had a covid positive and his quarantine period only ended today. But only their portion was sealed with an iron sheet and a banner was hung out with health care workers spraying disinfectant daily for last 15 days. He’s an asymptomatic so he got well on his own without any treatment. And we felt a sigh of relief.

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  8. The precautions taken by your apartment complex seem great. Hope everything works out for the better. Take care.

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    1. Hi Dashy - We are trying to take the maximum care. Thanks.

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  9. Very nice writing.. Anyway, stay safe

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  10. Nice to hear about your apartment and the precautions they are taking, if all the apartments and others take this kind of measures; and those infected openly declare and get treated. There's hope for all of us. so far in our lane we have no cases but the lanes on behind and front is said to be a vulnerable place. We are continuing to work with precautions, as much as possible do not go out if there is no necessity, and wear mask and keep sanitizing our hands. Encourage those who visit us also to wear mask and sanitize their hands.

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