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Followed Quarantine Rules for Covid-19; But My Address Was Published Online and Then Trouble Began

Photo for representation.

Photo for representation.

The following is an account of harassment faced by a Bengaluru family after the Karnataka government put out the home addresses of quarantined residents, who are not necessarily infected by Coronavirus, in a bid to stop people from stepping outside.

My mother returned to Bengaluru from the United Kingdom on March 14. I picked her up from the airport and we gave her travel details there. She has been in home quarantine ever since. I informed my office too about this and decided to stay home.

My wife, who takes care of her too, has also been in home quarantine since. As per the government's advisory, the person with travel history and the person taking care of them should follow quarantine. But I too stayed home and stepped out around three times a week for groceries, for about 15 to 20 minutes. I had revealed all the details to my apartment association also. They said "no other formality, just stay at home".

My mother, who is restricted to a wheelchair, does not move around the house anyway.

On March 22, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officials were at my doorstep in this apartment in north Bengaluru. They put hand stamps on my mother, my wife and me. They even stamped my two-year-old kid (who doesn't even have a passport). They also enabled tracking of our movements. We cooperated. I have absolutely no complaints about any of this.

I haven't stepped out of my house since then except to collect milk and newspaper, and groceries from the corridor. Groceries are home delivered.

Two or three days later, I got a call from an association member who has also been helping in providing groceries to our doorstep. He told me my address was viral everywhere, in all WhatsApp groups. He said he got a call from my neighbours that I had been going out when I hadn't stepped out of my corridor at all.

My address was circulated in all the WhatsApp groups that I am part of. People were discussing what should be done, asking whether we were indoors or stepping outside. My address, including the flat number, was out.

My name or contact number is not on the list published by the government, so the outside world doesn't know it's my address until I tell them. But anyone in the apartment complex can get these details just by the flat number as we have an internal communication system with access to a phone book with all contacts.

Now there is a lot of pressure and anxiety. We are unable to get groceries at the doorstep regularly. Somebody has to help us. Online ordering isn't possible.

Saturday was supposed to be our last day in quarantine but the BBMP has extended it til April 14. We hope there is always someone to provide essentials at our doorstep until then.

(As told to Revathi Rajeevan)
first published:March 28, 2020, 18:23 IST