The COVID-19 scare is again to hang-out Mumbai. On Friday, the town’s day by day spike crossed the 1,500 mark for the primary time since mid-October 2020. Each day is witnessing a brand new excessive and greater than 1,700 new circumstances have been reported on Saturday.
To put this in perspective, all by January, Mumbai was reporting 500 or lesser new circumstances every day. All by March, the town has been reporting greater than 1,000 new circumstances every day.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has repeatedly warned individuals to observe coronavirus protocols, if the town desires to keep away from one other lockdown.
Maharashtra is battling a resurgence in circumstances, with greater than half of India’s whole COVID-19 caseload. It has been reporting the best single day spike this 12 months for the previous three days in a row. On Friday, over 15,000 new circumstances have been reported within the state. A whole lockdown has been imposed in Nagpur, Aurangabad, Kalyan Dombivali districts.
In Mumbai’s neighbouring Thane district, a lockdown has been declared in 16 hotspots till March 31 with solely important providers to stay open. Curbs have additionally been tightened and evening curfew has been imposed in Pune metropolis which has been reporting the utmost circumstances within the state.
In such a situation, there’s a chance of a partial lockdown in Mumbai. Uddhav Thackeray’s celebration has warned that until individuals saved to the principles, extra restrictions equivalent to a statewide lockdown can be inevitable.
“No one wants a lockdown. But if people don’t follow norms, Restrictions could be imposed. Within the next few days, we will announce some restrictions on hotels and places where people are crowding,” Thackeray mentioned.
This time round, majority of latest circumstances in Mumbai are being reported in excessive rise buildings – greater than 200 buildings within the metropolis have been sealed. There are 30 lively containment zones. New curbs may very well be imposed in crowded locations equivalent to markets, cinema halls, eating places and wedding ceremony ceremonies. On the bottom, the scenario seems dire.
The buzzing Crawford Market space in South Mumbai provides us a sign of what the town is like regardless of the rise in COVID circumstances. The market is crowded with day by day consumers, with subsequent to no social distancing being adopted. People have come right here from completely different components of the town: kids, homemakers and even senior residents are crowding this market.
A senior citizen couple have been seen searching for luggage right here. They’ve not been vaccinated however that didn’t cease them from risking publicity. “I know this place can be risky. We haven’t taken the vaccine yet and we are yet to take a decision on that. We are wearing a mask at all times,” mentioned the 75-year-old Mumbai resident. When requested what introduced them to Crawford Market throughout the night rush, he mentioned, “We have come here to buy bags as we are going out of station tomorrow.”
Pooja Patil, 32, is visibly involved with the gang. She got here to this South Mumbai market all the way in which from Vashi in Navi Mumbai to scout for wedding ceremony put on for an upcoming wedding ceremony in her household. “I have come here from Vashi and I thought the market wouldn’t be very crowded as cases are rising. But I’m shocked that people have come here to shop even for their regular needs. It is my niece’s wedding so I had to come here out of sheer need,” she mentioned.
At a time when the town is dealing with a menace of a extreme COVID wave, Mumbaikars could also be throwing warning to the wind. We met three homemakers who had come to Crawford Market from Ulhas Nagar with their toddlers; not one of the youngsters have been masked.
“We have come here but we are wearing a mask. There are two types of people in Mumbai now, those who are scared and those who aren’t. Those who fear Covid are not stepping out, but people like us who don’t fear are stepping out! Life has to move on, after all.” She was seen buying water bottles at a roadside stall.
The solely saving grace is that masks are being worn as there are policemen and civic volunteers who’re imposing a wonderful of Rs 200 on violators. Every Police Chowki has a set goal of fines to be imposed on a single day. As a consequence, they’re strictly implementing COVID protocols. “We are always on the lookout of violators. Most people are caught wearing masks on their chin, they have to pay a fine. The market is very crowded and such a lapse increases the risk of infection. Besides, we all have a daily target of fines to fulfill,” mentioned a civic volunteer.
The concept of one other lockdown is unacceptable to each consumers and shopkeepers alike. Forty-year-old Kamran places the onus on individuals to observe the norms. “It’s time for people to take this seriously. Small businesses like ours and even the common man cannot afford another lockdown. In our shop, we don’t allow people without a mask. We have a sanitiser too. But despite doing our bit, if people don’t follow then we all will suffer,” he mentioned.
Another shopkeeper says that evening curfew and improve in restrictions on eating places, weddings and markets is okay. But an entire lockdown would kill their enterprise which has solely now began limping again to normalcy. “Crawford market and other such popular places have struggled to revive business after last year’s lockdown. We urge the government to increase surveillance, impose fines on violators but please don’t put us through another lockdown,” he mentioned.
It’s been a 12 months for the reason that world has been coping with COVID-19. There is COVID fatigue that has settled in. Here within the most metropolis, life had simply slowly gotten again on monitor. Let’s hope we’re in a position to include it earlier than life is halted as soon as once more by a lockdown. Time to masks up.