KOCHI: Residents of apartment complexes and gated communities in the city are a worried lot.With community spread of Covid-19 becoming a grave reality, the residents fear that if care is not taken, their apartment complexes and gated communities may turn into mini clusters of the disease. Already, there have been cases where tenants of entire apartment complexes were placed under quarantine after a few of them tested positive.
“The fear is valid. Nearly 100 people live in close quarters in such places using the same amenities like lifts and common areas. So, chances of spread of the infection are high,” said Somanathan, president, Flat Owners’ Association (FOA). On their part, those managing the apartment complexes have strengthened precautionary measures like checking the antecedents of outsiders visiting the establishments, he said.
“Still, people are worried. Since lockdown was relaxed, several people arrived from places having a high incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. A majority of them own flats in various apartment complexes here,” he said. When asked about incidents where some residents’ associations denied entry to such returnees, Somanathan said the FOA had not condoned the associations’ move and urged them to take actions like ensuring that residents follow standard Covid protocol of the state government.
Service apartments, used for short-term stays, are another cause for concern, said Anil Prabhakar, a resident of an apartment complex in the city. “There are several service apartments in the city – there is no record of their exact number – and many people passing by the city stay there for short periods of time,” he said. However, Somanathan said at every apartment, it is ensured that details like the name and contact number of such people is entered in the apartment’s register.
Deputy district medical officer Dr Savita K said if care is not taken, Covid can swiftly spread through apartments. “There have been such cases. However, if those suspected to have contracted Covid quarantine themselves, such a situation can be avoided,” she said.Meanwhile, Rotary Cochin Cosmos is organising a webinar to educate residents about the steps that need to be taken in this regard.