A team of doctors have been stationed at the apartment where the techie lives for residents in the building.

Dell asks employees in one Bengaluru office to work from home as staffer has COVID-19PTI/ Representational Image
news Coronavirus Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 19:55

After one techie, with travel history to the United States was tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, the company he works for has advised all his colleagues working on the same floor of the office space to work from home. The techie’s wife and daughter were also tested positive for Coronavirus on Tuesday afternoon along with another person. 

In an email to its employees, Dell, located along Inner Ring Road near Embassy Golf Links, said that all colleagues of the patient who tested positive have to work from home for 14 days. 

“We have confirmed that one of our Bangalore team members based in the 4th floor of Dell 4 builing, Annexe Wing, Inner Ring Road Domlur, has been tested positive for COVID-19… Out of the abundance of caution, all team members based on the fourth floor of Dell 4 building, annexe wing will work from home for the next 14 days i.e., until March 24,” the email reads. 

The company has asked other employees in the building, who are capable of working from home, to do so, in order to avoid more number of people entering the office. The email also says that the offices on the 4th floor and the entire building has been sanitised “This includes wiping down commonly touched surfaces, such as light switches and door handles, with alcohol-based solutions several times a day in addition to deep cleaning common areas, canteens and restrooms,” the email adds. 

Dell sent out the precautionary email after the techie, who was tested positive, was kept under isolation at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases. His family members including his wife, daughter and driver were placed under home quarantine until they were tested positive. The colleague he had travelled to India with, from Austin, was also placed under home quarantine. 

The apartment association members of the building in which the techie and his family live held a meeting with the Bengaluru District Health Officer and other officials from the Health Department on Monday and advised home quarantine for all its residents for the next one week. 

“With principles of self-quarantine and symptomatic assessment being paramount, it has been strictly advised that everyone within the community stay indoors for the next 5 to 7 days unless an absolute emergency,” the email from the apartment association says. 

On Tuesday, a team of doctors were stationed at the apartment and will be there till the home quarantine ends. “Doctors will be stationed 24x7 for the next 5-7 days as a precautionary measure to identify symptomatic residents and screen them. They will start the first round of door-to-door assessment and post that anyone having symptoms would need to visit the designated screening room in the apartment,” the email adds. 

The residents were also advised to ensure that their respective domestic helps would also be screened at the designated station within the apartment. 

Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday said that the techie, who returned from the US, had come into secondary contact with 2,666 people since his arrival in India, TNM has earlier reported. The techie visited his work place for two days before he showed symptoms. The Karnataka Health Department has formed three contact-tracing teams to identify all persons who he came into contact with directly and indirectly and ensure that they are screened as well. So far, 16 people, who were in the same flight as the techie, have been placed under home quarantine. 

In a statement, Dell has detailed its response. The statement has been reproduced in full below.

 Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees and communities where we operate. We can confirm two employees of Dell India were tested for the COVID-19 virus following their return home from the United States – including a visit to our headquarters in Round Rock, Texas. One employee tested negative; another tested positive and has since been placed in quarantine. We continue to take steps to protect Dell Technologies team members and communities by following the health and safety guidelines from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control, and coordinating with local health officials.

The team members in Bangalore who may have come into contact with the affected employees are working remotely. Dell’s local environment, health and safety team is in contact with these team members to closely monitor their well-being. All the team members. who are set up for work from home are encouraged to do so as part of our Connected Workplace policy. This helps us reduce foot traffic and congregation in buildings for those whose jobs require them to be in a Dell facility. To help keep sites worldwide safe, we have increased the frequency of deep cleaning and sanitization of all our workspaces and conference rooms.

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