Anxious moments were witnessed at the President’s Estate after a kin of an employee, working in the housekeeping department, was detected with the COVID-19 disease prompting authorities to keep 115 families under “self-isolation” as a “preventive measure”.
Spread over 330 acres from the famous Raisina Hill till South Avenue, the Rashtrapati Bhawan houses nearly 1,000 families who are engaged in various duties which include maintenance of the majestic palace with 340 rooms, a central lawn, Ashok Hall and Durbar Hall.
The detection of the COVID-19 case from the premises of the President’s Estate prompted Rashtrapati Bhawan to issue a statement in which they clarified that “no employee of the President’s secretariat has tested positive for COVID-19 and the secretariat along with the local administration is taking all the preventive measures required under the government guidelines.”
A COVID-19 positive patient from central Delhi, who was neither an employee of the President’s secretariat nor a resident of the President’s Estate, died on April 13, 2020 with co-morbidities at the B L Kapoor Hospital in New Delhi, the statement said.
After contact tracing of the deceased, it was found that a family member of an employee of the President’s Secretariat had been in contact with the deceased prompting the authorities to shift the employee along with the family, residents of Pocket 1, schedule A area of the President’s Estate, to a quarantine facility at Mandir Marg on April 16, the statement said.
“Subsequently, one of the family members who was in contact with the deceased tested positive. All other family members including the employee of the President’s Secretariat have tested negative,” it said.
Adhering to the instructions and guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, 115 houses in Pocket 1, schedule A area of the President’s Estate were identified for movement restriction and residents have been advised to remain indoors, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
“The residents of these houses are being provided doorstep delivery of essential commodities,” it added.
Spread over 2.5 kilometres, the estate provides residential accommodation to employees posted with the President’s Secretariat which includes the home and office of the President, a museum complex and famous gardens – The Mughal Gardens, Herbal Garden, Musical Garden and Spiritual Garden.
It is a virtual city within a city which has its own post office, places of worships, schools, medical and cultural centres besides an auditorium where special screenings of movies are held for the President.