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Wadala housing complex under complete lockdown as foreign returnee resident found COVID-19 positive

One of the largest co-operative housing societies in Mumbai, Dosti Acres in Wadala on Wednesday went into a complete lockdown as a “containment zone” after a resident, who was under self-quarantine since his return from foreign travel, tested positive in a followup COVID-19 test. More than 1,450 families in the 11-building Dosti Acres complex asked to stay in two-week quarantine

, Mumbai Mirror|
Last Updated: Apr 02, 2020, 12.00 PM IST
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Mumbai Mirror
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A police notice declaring Dosti Acres as a containment zone, restricting movements.
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(This story originally appeared in on Apr 02, 2020)
One of the largest co-operative housing societies in Mumbai, Dosti Acres in Wadala on Wednesday went into a complete lockdown as a “containment zone” after a resident, who was under self-quarantine since his return from foreign travel, tested positive in a followup COVID-19 test.

A resident of Dosti Blossom Society and his family was under self-quarantine after his initial test at Kasturba Hospital was negative. However, the result of his fresh test came positive on Tuesday evening, and the BMC authorities arrived at the complex to inform the residents of a possible lockdown.

On Wednesday, officials from F North Ward and Antop Hill police station held a meeting with office-bearers of all 11 co-operative housing societies in Dosti Acres explaining the rationale for the strict restrictions on movement of residents in and out of the complex.

“There is no panic among residents. One of our members who was in selfquarantine after his first COVID test came negative. Three days ago, he consulted me on the necessity of a follow-up test and he did the test with Thyrocare. Unfortunately, the test result was positive, and it was communicated by the lab to the civic body and police authorities who arrived at our complex and directed him to get admitted to a hospital,” said Rahul Daga, chairman of Dosti Lily Cooperative Housing Society, who also runs the well-known NGO, Friends of Wadala.

At 11pm on Tuesday night, Dosti Blossom Society secretary sent out a formal note to the residents of the building explaining the development and appealing all residents not to move out of their homes till further notice.

“The BMC and police authorities directed our member to admit himself at a hospital for further treatment. But, in a total lockdown, how does he travel to the hospital? We called 108 Ambulance service, but they said they can only come when they are equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) or the headto toe Hazmat suit mandatory for moving a positive patient. Though the test result came positive around 6.30-7 pm, the 108 ambulance could only come here around midnight,” said Daga.

When Mumbai Mirror contacted Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services, which runs the 108 ambulance services, Dr Ashish Yadav, the zonal manager, said, “There is no shortage of PPE, but the number of calls have increased over the last few days. We are now picking up 70 to 72 patients daily. The BMC has been supplying PPE kits whenever we ask for it. Whether it is a suspected COVID-19 patient or a positive COVID-19 patient, we cannot pick up the patient without the PPE suit.” Vipul Bondal, another resident of the society and a communications professional, tweeted tagging Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Minister Aaditya Thackeray’s Twitter handles to bring the problem to their notice.

“Mumbai city’s 108 ambulances must be equipped with safety kits to transport COVID-19 cases to hospitals. ‘10’ Ambulance in Mumbai F/N ward not equipped with COVID kits leading to delays. Hon @CMOMaharashtra Hon @AUThackeray @mcgm requested to take note,” the tweet said.

“We encountered had another problem. After the 108 ambulance picked up the patient and took him to Hinduja hospital, the hospital refused to admit the patient saying the hospital is only admitting patients above 55 years of age. We then had to get on the phone and contact some people who could intervene, and an hour later, he was admitted,” said Daga.

Dosti Acres has around 1,450 flats in the complex and though they were already implementing social distancing measures, but a lockdown for 14 days has posed a new logistical challenge for the residents. “The authorities have told us that no one will be allowed inside and the residents will not be allowed to step outside for groceries or any other essentials. So, we have appealed to all societies to form teams of volunteers and we will see if we can place collective orders, and then volunteers could deliver them to homes across the complex,” Daga said.

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