Coronavirus: In gated societies of Noida, Ghaziabad, foreign returnees sufferLast updated on Mar 18, 2020, 12:14 pm
Fear and panic around the novel coronavirus have forced residents of some gated societies in Noida and Ghaziabad to look towards their neighbors with suspicion.
And in some societies, residents have no qualms in calling police to "report" about those who returned from foreign lands.
The paranoia has worsened the situation in otherwise harmonious societies, a report in TOI said.
16 tested positive in UP, national tally stands at 147
The number of people who tested positive for coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, has reached 16, including one foreigner.
Across India, the number swelled to 147, with three people dying. The deceased belonged to Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Delhi.
While the Indian government has asked people to not panic, and stick to following precautions, that is clearly not happening.
Residents of Ghaziabad cornered one woman
Yesterday, after reports came in that two people contracted the virus in Noida, panic took over two societies there, and one in Ghaziabad.
The residents raised suspicion at their neighbors who returned from abroad. In one colony of Ghaziabad, residents called police to "report" a 32-year-old woman who returned from Dubai on Sunday along with her two daughters.
That she "roamed freely" troubled them.
Residents wanted to know whether she was screened
The residents said her daughters played with their kids, and some of them even turned up at her door to confirm whether she was screened at the airport. They demanded to see the documents.
Not satisfied with her response, they called police.
A sub-inspector told TOI, "I was told the woman was not listening and was asked to speak to her."
This is not done, said senior health officer
It was after the RWA sent a staffer that the woman was able to step out to buy household items. The woman said she was concerned about her and her daughters' well-being.
On the incident, Ghaziabad chief medical officer NK Gupta said, "The district administration and health department have conducted meetings with RWAs and told them about steps needed to be taken."
In Noida, couple faced anger because they returned from Australia
Similarly in Noida, a couple and their daughter, who had returned from Australia faced the brunt.
The Apartment Owners' Association of their society in Sector 77, rang not only the health department but cops too.
A society official said, "They were screened at the airport. We told them to cooperate and remain in isolation for 14 days. We will provide them everything we need."
Residents aren't happy with screenings at airports
Likewise, in another society of sector 51, a man who returned from France had to deal with angry neighbors, who said they weren't happy with a mere screening at the airport.
Though health department officials are the first ones to respond in such cases, cops are also assisting them.
The officials have asked people to not panic, but the pleas have largely been ignored.