COVID-19: Defence Colony turns fortress after 3 of family test positive


New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) A thick layer of dust on vehicles parked on deserted roads, police patrolling units deployed at almost every junction of roads, nothing similar to the famous scenes of Delhi’s posh Defence Colony.

But such has been the impact of deadly COVID-19 that most of the residents of the colony remain indoors, rest are forced to be indoors with continuous monitoring by Delhi Police. The scenes emerged after three members of a family in the colony, whose private security guard had attended the congregation at the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz in Nizamuddin in March, were found Covid-19 positive.

“For someone who would have come here earlier, Defence Colony never looked so dull. But then it is essential to be in quarantine especially after four people are already confirmed to be affected,” Prakash who has lived in the colony for over 8 years told IANS. The fear of the pandemic was such that many residents have told their domestic helps to not return to work until the lockdown is lifted completely.

“Private guards or domestic help in most of the houses have been instructed to stay at home during these times. Most of the houses in the colony are following the trend. Only the colony guards are being called in for work and they are also being given proper protection kits,” Punkaj Malhotra, a former RWA member said.

Many also claimed that they have told their domestic help to take 2 months of paid leave so social distancing can be followed strictly.

“I made sure both of my domestic helps were at home and also paid them 2 months of salary in advance,” Geeta Bhargava, General Secretary of Defence Colony RWA said.

She added that the RWA has not advised all residents to follow the same.

Meanwhile the locality has closed all its entry and exit gates, except for two which can be used to enter or exit the colony after due checking by private security guards and policemen.

“We have taken up the sanitation work, and the colony residents led by the RWA President Major Ranjit Singh have decided to make sanitation their priority,” Bhargava said.

The Delhi Police has also started to make announcements of COVID-19-related guidelines and precautions on a regular interval.

“Announcements to follow lockdown and COVID-19-relatedadvisories are being made by our patrolling parties. We are also making sure that anyone who steps out of their residence has proper mask and gloves,” Atul Thakur, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Southern district, told IANS.

The police has also registered an FIR against the guard for withholding the information from his employers, Thakur added.

“The family lived on the ground floor of a building. They have been admitted to a private hospital. Other members of the family and those living on other floors of the building have been asked to remain in home quarantine,” the DCP said.

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