Many of us live in Apartment Blocks and as the Coronavirus continues to ravage our country we are rightfully concerned about the spread in our homes, especially if someone in the vicinity is diagnosed as positive. There are some facts to consider and some steps to take.
Be careful, not paranoid. Avoid instilling unnecessary fear among residents. Take precautions -
- All guards and staff to wear masks at all times - discard masks after duty if 3-ply, wash with warm water and dry in the sun if double/ triple layered cloth mask
- Guards to wear Face shields especially when interacting with outsiders, vendors, etc - these can be disinfected at end of day and reused the next day
- Guards to wear Gloves which are disposed of off once the shift is over
- Keep hand sanitizers at all convenient locations including Lifts, Block entrances, Floor entrances
- Encourage hand washing - dedicated wash basins with Soap dispensers and tissue papers - the soap is not important, foam is - foamy soap.
- Thermal scanners - of minor use - keep them but do not place too much reliability on their result. Many are asymptomatic, fever can be artificially controlled with a simple tablet, their readings are not so reliable etc.
- Clean Floors frequently - at least twice a day with Lysol. Once a day use 1% Sodium Hypochlorite - readily available from online sites including Indiamart. Housekeeping supervisors should be trained.
- Lifts- wipe with Hydrogen Peroxide(also available commercially, along with spray machines- ask Housekeeping agency to procure) or Alcohol-based swabs- avoid Sodium Hypochlorite on metallic surfaces as it is corrosive. Also persons with chlorine allergies may have a problem. This virus mainly spreads by aerosol/ droplets - that is the MAIN route of transmission. Surface transmission is not as important.
- Keep doors and windows of common areas open to allow Sun and air to freely pass through- the virus spreads more readily in enclosed spaces.
- Common air conditioning ducts could be a problem since the infection is spread by aerosol. Stand-alone AC units are safe.
- Pulse Oximeters - these are small inexpensive devices used to monitor blood Oxygen levels - keep a couple to pass on to Symptomatic patients. Oxygen levels above 95% are safe. Concern at levels below 90%.
- Oxygen Concentrators/ Cylinders - there should be no need to buy these - they are readily available on rent. Have a tie up with a reputed agency nearby to supply as and when needed. Some companies including Portea do remote monitoring as well, apart from supplying the device.
- E Consultations- tie up with a Hospital/ Doctor/ Aggregator platform for an E Consultation. Remember two things- There should be facility for Testing if required and the Hospital/ Agency should be able to ensure a bed in a Covid-19 dedicated hospital as and when needed.
- Stay cheerful and maintain a positive attitude
- Cooperate with Society/ Management - they have everyone's interests at heart. Share any genuine concern or harsh rule openly. Avoid being defiant.
- Please avoid celebrations, get-togethers, birthday parties at home because this could invite spread - say Cheers across balconies!
Just remember the following Ss
- Stay at home
- Safe Distance - 2 meters is safe
- Sanitize regularly - hands more important than surfaces, soap better than alcohol
- Stay covered - face masks- double-layered cotton or 3-ply
Remember that the spread of infection is a two-way street - you are as liable to spread the infection as to catch it from someone.
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