RWAs maintain residents’ database to help with contact tracing

But disposal of masks remains a problem, say operators of dry waste collection centres

Updated - July 03, 2020 08:23 pm IST

Published - July 03, 2020 08:22 pm IST - Bengaluru

Several Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) have upped the proactive measures they’ve been taking to contain the spread of COVID-19 and disseminating information on their groups, while at the same time helping people who are in home quarantine.

N.H. Subramanian of Pai Layout Residents’ Welfare Association (PLRWA), on Old Madras Road, maintains a Google form where residents update basic information about travel history, among other information. This way, the RWA can keep track of people under home and institutional quarantine. “Recently there was a positive case in our vicinity and the family reported it. We are now helping them with their basic needs as they are confined to their home,” he said. According to Mr. Pai, residents are under no compulsion to fill the form. “However, most have volunteered to fill it,” he added.

Anupama V.L., another member of PLRWA and one among the ten ‘PLRWA COVID Warriors’ monitoring the situation on ground said that all this was being done carefully without any stigma attached. “The information shared by the residents is kept confidential and is shared only with officials when the need arises,” she said.

K.G. Mohan of Sobha Garnet Apartment Owners’ Association, near Iblur, said that there had been an increase in cleaning and sanitation drives in their vicinity, especially of high touch surfaces. “We now have a pre-ordered and prepaid market system and around 35 farmers have been supplying fruits and vegetables to us. We also have a database of basic information of residents and household workers,” he said.

Video tutorials

While these measures have been lauded, operators and managers of Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCCs) say that masks are still not being disposed of in a safe way, posing a health risk to workers. Many have taken to sending video clips to RWAs to explain how to responsibly throw away used masks.

According to Kumuda, who manages a DWCC, at least 200-250 disposable masks land up at the centre every day. “These masks should be disposed of along with sanitary waste. They should be wrapped in paper and marked in red,” she explains in a video.

These videos that are being circulated among different RWAs have been very well-received, claimed Nalini Shekar from Hasiru Dala.

A local boost

The Cooke Town community is rallying behind local businesses that have taken a hit. Kiran Castelino, who lives in the area, said that she was organising an online market to help local business people. Before the pandemic, the neighbourhood would organise flea markets, which will now be moved online.

“There are many people who sell pure honey, hand-made jewellery, and kombucha, among others things. The online market facilitates them to sell their products without physical interaction,” she said.

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