Since the first case was identified at the Renaissance Temple Bells apartment complex in Mahalakshmi Layout on July 24, around 20 more positive cases have been found, including three children under the age of 18. All adults had received at least one dose of the vaccine. and most cases are asymptomatic or have a mild fever and a cold.
However, what has baffled the residents of this five-tower complex is virus behavior that is contrary to expectations. On the one hand, the epidemics occurred only in apartments located directly above each other.
“All cases are serial in A Block,” explained Pavan Chandrashekar, vice-president of the RWA apartment and in charge of Covid containment.
“The first cases occurred in an apartment on the sixth floor. The following cases were in apartments stacked on top of each other. In the past eight days, the total number of cases has reached 21, of which 14 have been identified since July 29, ”Chandrashekar said.
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Three units in the section had not been assigned while one unit is currently vacant.
Chandrashekar added that the infections had occurred even though all common areas are regularly disinfected.
When health officials from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) investigated, they found that the affected apartments shared a common ventilation duct connected to bathrooms and coupled to exhaust fans. Chandrashekar pointed out that no other people living in apartments not connected to the duct were infected.
Shivaswamy N, Co-Commissioner, West Zone, confirmed that all positive cases so far are confined to Tower A.
“We tested around 300 residents of Tower B yesterday. None are positive. In the meantime, we have closed all common areas and the clubhouse. Samples from the residents of Tower C were collected today for testing, ”he said.
The BBMP has asked residents to turn off exhaust fans and flush their toilets with the lids closed in the future to prevent aerosolization, as the virus has already been shown to exist in stool.
Additional Professor Pradeep Badanur, Department of Epidemiology, Nimhans, stressed that it can be difficult to prove airborne transmission of the virus unless air sampling is carried out in apartments.
SPECIAL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE ON DH ONLY
Dr Basavaraj Kuntoji, internal medicine specialist at Manipal Hospital (Malleswaram), also pointed out that it can be difficult to prove airborne transmission.
“However, previous studies have shown that when virus droplets are less than five microns in size, they can spread beyond six feet,” he said.
In a Lancet article published in April, scientists highlighted laboratory evidence that showed the Sars-CoV-2 virus remained infectious in the air for up to three hours.
Additionally, the virus has been found in air filters and construction ducts in hospitals with Covid patients.
These locations could only be reached by aerosol.