Social distancing has become a primary weapon for controlling corona pandemic. Many Resident welfare associations in several cities have taken major decisions to curb social interactions, keeping in mind welfare of their residents but most of them defy logic. These RWAs have forgotten an important factor in fight against Covid-19 – controlling gathering of people in common area. Most of these RWAs compromise of several apartment buldings and residential complexes, who are more aggresive and forthcoming in decision making.
Lets dwell into few common practices enforced by several RWAs in metro cities during corona lockdown to curb the spread.
- Single Pickup Point for delivered goods : Many RWAs have placed door-to-door delivery of goods, forcing the courier or essential delivery guy to leave goods at the main entry point or entry point of apartment building. Management becomes better in identifying the personnel but RWA have forgotten they actually have created a single point of spread through security personnel/guard who is collecting the good. Here in this case security guard can be classified as super spreader. Ensuring door-to-door delivery without contacting the recipient directly eradicates single point of spread.
- Short time period boundation for movement and essential buying : Several socieities have enforced strict timings of movement, ranging from from 2-4 hrs for essential buyings or allowed activities. Short time limits are forcing several anxious residents rushing for grocery stores, forgetting about social distance and creating clusters of people within small space. Despite MHA allowing movements between 7 AM and 7 PM during Lockdown 3.0, several RWAs created their own guidelines , overriding the governments one.
- Forcing residents for Covid-19 free certificate : Many residents who are permiited to go outside by government or were in-between travels have been asked by RWAs to get Covid-19 tests, despite going through thermal checks. Though, it sounds logical but many doctors, media-persons or residents who were part of essential good business were harassed. Several RWAs also factpred out the probability of getting infected while getting a certificate from Hospitals or CMO HQ, where many covid-19 patients report for treatment.
- Record keeping : Any entry of residents including delivery person, doctors, journalists, guards etc is being logged generally through a log register, Where a person is being asked to register their record. Though logging is mandatory – Stationary including register, pen and table can become a single point of infection. Digitizing record without any point of contact is need of the hour with social distancing.Still, Several socities have started using mobile apps ie. Mygate, socio-connect ensuring social distancing, but still majority of them are still following obsolete practices.
Despite majority RWAs, illogical and unplanned decision making, their other efforts should be lauded which includes sanitization and keeping a check on the spread. Government should also do their part of providing transparent communication for RWAs , enabling them as enablers in this long term corona fight. Several RWAs are also reported to be in litigatory conflict with their residents due to non-consensual high-handed decision making. Proper consensual environment is need of the hour in long term fight against covid-19.