Delhi

COVID-19 poster outside west Delhi house keeping people away

Relatives bringing us essential items: quarantined family

“COVID-19. Do not visit. Home under quarantine,” read a poster outside a house in a west Delhi locality. People walking past were seen taking a closer look of the poster after they noticed it, before quickly walking away.

The poster also has a name, the address, and the number of persons advised quarantine written on it besides the duration of quarantine — March 15-31. The six members of the family have been asked not to step out of their house to avoid legal action against them.

The house is owned by a 40-year-old who had returned from the United States on March 15. Employee of a multi-national company, who requires to travel for work often, the owner said that all that the poster had done was scaring people around them.

Screening

Complaining about the process, the man said that he was screened at the airport and was also briefed about quarantining himself for 14 days, adding that the poster was pasted outside his house only on Wednesday (March 25). “Ideally, they should have pasted the poster a day or two after I returned if the threat was real. It has been 10 days and I am absolutely fine. What it really does is scare people,” he said. Whoever he asked, including his friends, to even come outside the house, turned him down, he added.

He said that on Wednesday, as soon as the poster was pasted, they had clicked a picture of it and sent it along with a message on their residential colony’s group saying that the man is fine and that this was a precautionary measure being taken by the government and there was nothing to panic. The response from his neighbours included “Take care”.

The neighbours, however, are now both concerned and apprehensive.

A 62-year-old, who did not wish to be identified, said that the man’s father had come out to throw garbage in the morning and a few people in the area “took a step back”. “We have called them to say that if they need something, they should let us know. But people are obviously scared to go near the house,” he said.

The owner of the house said that he had been buying everything online till a few days ago, but since Wednesday, the family has not stepped out “as such” even for essentials. “Legal action can be taken against us if we step out before the quarantine period ends. The police had come today [Thursday] and posted another list of do’s and don’ts that also mentioned that we are not allowed to step out,” he said, adding that relatives have been coming with food items whenever required. “Our relatives are bringing us things like milk and daily essentials. They come and keep the items outside the house and we pick those up,” he said.

The members of the family have been taking precautionary measures even inside the house that include sleeping in separate rooms and washing utensils as and when they are used.

A government official said the Airport authorities is sharing a list of details of people who landed in the country, with the District Surveillance Officer (DSO). The DSO is tasked with putting up the posters and informing the police. “Several complaints have been received about people not following the quarantine orders and the police are being informed in such cases who are then warning people of of legal action if they step out of the house,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 3:39:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/covid-19-poster-outside-west-delhi-house-keeping-people-away/article31176892.ece

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