Karnataka state home quarantine experience

This post details my home quarantine experience after returning from Chennai.

When I entered there was no rule of institutional quarantine for TN returnees, so we could reach home directly. My journey experience isalready documented here.

After I reached home I was expecting some calls/visit by health workers etc. Nothing of that sort happened for full one week. Most likely administrative staff had lots of backlog to attend to so it took some time before they picked up my case.

Sometime after 1 week I got one call from Taluk Panchayat office and after few days another call from DC office. Both wanted to ascertain in which gram panchayat my home falls under- nothing more.

A few days later staff deployed by Gram Panchayat came home. Their task was to take my photo and upload daily. The phone network was weak so the photo session often took more than one attempt. This went on daily (except Sunday) for rest of the quarantine duration.

As I entered Karnataka on 10th June, I was expecting quarantine to end on 23th June- after counting 14 days including date of entry. But Govt count simply adds 14 to date of entry, so as per them quarantine end date is 24th June. Date of entry doesn’t count. One more day- no big deal, but just FYI. Also I entered during morning half- what if I had entered by late evening? So may be it is a good idea to exclude date of entry and count 14 full days. But there was no home visit on last day.

Quarantine Violation message

Sometime on 9th day, I got an SMS stating I have violated quarantine rules and if I violate again I will be sent to institutional quarantine. This was strange because I have not gone out from home. Ours is a village home with lots of fields and gardens nearby. May be me walking in the perimeter was considered violation- I got even serious after the alert but then every few days alters and automated calls kept coming in, even when I have not gone out. So the messages were fake. May be Govt is randomly sending them to all numbers in database to create some fear, or to show that they have been strict. This TNM report says lacks of people violated quarantine rules- I don’t know how true the numbers are.

How to detect home quarantine violation?

  • Mobile number tracking- easiest way- if person goes far from home with mobile consider it as violation
  • Drone surveillance- easy in cities, difficult in villages
  • Someone (neighbors, villagers) complains
  • Catch people at check posts
  • Home visits- Party not at home when govt staff visit home

None of the above is true in my case, so I believe the violation messages are random, just to keep people in place and instill a fear.

Asha worker visited my home once and collected name and other details. I asked about test, I was told corona virus test is only done if one is showing any symptom or has come in contact with a confirmed positive person. Since I didn’t have any symptoms, no covid test for me.

Did I get a confirmation message saying “Your quarantine period is over”? No.

None the less Karnataka is relatively better off compared to other states but cases increasing slow and steady, mostly due to outsiders. Quarantine rules are revised periodically- refer this post for latestquarantine rules for entering Karnataka.

We are told some homes are put under seal down if authorities felt necessary. In such cases no one is supposed to go out, arrangements will be made for door delivery of essential stuffs.  

Some FAQs:

Q1: Did you have to take selfie and upload somewhere?

No. No such instructions were given. Panchayat staff who came home took photos and uploaded in their internal app. I think this selfie rule was introduced in Bengaluru in March but was probably abandoned as it was not possible to enforce.

Q2: Was there a seal on your hand?

No

Q3: Was there a sticker on your house?

No. I was told this is being done for those returned from MH

Lot of people are suggesting 3 weeks quarantine instead of two. Even after that it is better to avoid unnecessary travel. End of quarantine is no guarantee of safety- corona can strike any time anywhere. So exercise caution.

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