Coronavirus carriers haunt blocks of flats in Tatarstan

Patients with mild cases put in quarantine violate the regime jeopardising their neighbours

A scandal broke in a Kazan block of flats in Dekabristov Street: residents learnt their neighbour who was tested positive for COVID-19 broke her fever, calmly walked in the block, went shopping, went to the bank and so on. They learnt this from the woman herself — she didn’t maintain the confidentiality but easily shared the secret with her acquaintances during evening gatherings in the courtyard. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report what consequences this can have for her neighbours, the probability of contracting the infection from the residents in this block and what to do if your block has such an “amazing neighbour”.

“Neighbour with coronavirus in our house”

A resident of the block who was in the lift with the COVID neighbour raised alarm. The woman who entered the lift complained that her husband was coping with the disease poorly, while she broke her fever and was feeling quite good to go to both a grocery store and pharmacy. It was late to get her out of the lift, there wasn’t any sense either because the woman uses the lift several times a day proportionally increasing the chances of the rest to contract the disease. There wasn’t point in educating the neighbour and ask her for discretion: if medics and sanitary doctors didn’t manage to persuade the patient with the coronavirus to stay home, will she listen to a stranger?

The concerned citizen calculated how many relatives and acquaintances she could theoretically have brought the disease to unknowingly, she called those she contacted with, warned them about the danger and began to look for a place to do a test, to find out how dangerous she was at the moment. Logically, she called the reception of the Polyclinic No. 10 first. Soon after that, an ambulance arrived in the address the correspondent indicated in Dekabristov Street — “to sort it our” with the fan of banned walks.

Out of lift — do a test

“If the patient really had clinical symptoms of the coronavirus infection and contacts with the sick person, the patient poses an epidemic threat,” Chief Visiting Infectologist of the Tatarstan Ministry of Health Khalit Khayertynov commented on the situation. “Those who have a mild case aren’t hospitalised and receive treatment at home. However, they must be in isolation. Such patients pose a great threat of transmitting the infection if they leave the flat without a mask and gloves, touch buttons of the lift and so on…”

Realnoe Vremya clarified: some people recovered or are having the coronavirus without symptoms or it is a mild case — they aren’t tested for COVID, they are simply treated from viral respiratory infections. They also spread the infection, however, nobody isolates them. Perhaps, isn’t the probability of contracting the infection is high in fact and those who go outside regardless of the instruction of sanitary doctors?

“No,” the interlocutor of the newspaper disagreed, “About 50% of the patients don’t have symptoms or have mild cases, and there is a risk of the infection, especially indoors.”

Khalit Khayertynov recommended those who contacted the people who were diagnosed with the virus should do a PCR test. He also reminded the audience that the incubation period of the coronavirus is 14 days and if the test is negative in a week or 10 days, it doesn’t mean you won’t fall ill at the end of the second week.

“No people subjected to isolation at the moment”

The managing company assured Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent that the risk of contracting the virus was low: the Managing Company of Housing and Utilities in Moscow District said that the contractor was daily disinfecting all blocks of flats as well as the buttons of door phones and handles at the entrances.

As for the block of flats this story took place in and the citizen who was sick and didn’t follow the self-isolation regime, in reply to Realnoe Vremya’s request prepared by the Tatarstan office of Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor together with the republican anti-coronavirus office, the following was said: “The address you indicated doesn’t have people subjected to isolation at the moment”. This probably means that the citizen who violated the isolation regime during the disease recovered and stopped being dangerous to spread the infection.

She’s not alone

Answering Realnoe Vremya’s questions about the measures taken to isolate patients with COVID-19 who aren’t hospitalised, head of the republican anti-coronavirus office in Tatarstan Leyla Fazleyeva said:

“Instructions of the chief state sanitary doctor in the Republic of Tatarstan on isolation are given if COVID-19 is confirmed in the laboratory for people who aren’t hospitalised and receive treatment at home as well as for the close circle of the patient (family members, close contacts at work, for instance, they work in one room at the table at a close distance). The office of Rospotrebnadzor in the Republic of Tatarstan is daily carrying out raids in the places of residence of people who are in isolation. Representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tatarstan are also participating in the work.”

However, as it turned out, not everybody follows these instructions, and the case in Dekabristov Street isn’t isolated:

“Nowadays citizens who violated the isolation regime have been filed 59 reports on administrative violations according to Article 6.3 Part 2 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Russia. There were fines for 40 of them, the other reports are processed.”

Rospotrebnadzor’s press service told Realnoe Vremya that if one learns the block of flats has such violators, one should ask questions and communicate a message to the multi-channel phone of the anti-coronavirus office on 8 (800) 222-59-00. They will help deal with carriers of the infection and give one advice on how to protect oneself too.

By Inna Serova