Representational image
Representational image
Photo: Bhushan Koyande

As the number of people testing positive for the novel coronavirus continues to climb, people are being advised to stay housebound as much as possible.

The total number of positive cases has now crossed 200, with Maharashtra clocking the highest number of cases. Earlier, the state government had asked for all public spaces such as malls, theatres, gyms, swimming pools etc to remain shut till the end of the month. Offices providing "non-essential services" too have been asked to work with 50% of their usual staff in attendance on any given day.

In an update on Friday afternoon, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that while essential services would continue, all workplaces were now being asked to stay shut till the end of March.

But while social distancing may be the need of the hour, not everyone appears to be listening. In recent times, there has been an uptick in people complaining to the Mumbai Police via Twitter. But while these complaints are usually about criminal activities, traffic violations and the like, netizens today are complaining about their bosses and their workplaces.

Some have even gone to great lengths to maintain their anonymity, creating fake accounts for the sole purpose of registering a complaint.

"NABARD office in BKC is working in full attendance. Its a centrally a/c building with all employees travelling in from various locations. Imaging a COVID19 positive person in such a closed surrounding," wrote one user.

"I have created this account so that you don't reveal my identity if you take action..." began another post.

And while at any other time this might be considered a rather roundabout way to play hooky from work, against the backdrop of the viral outbreak it is concerning.

Now, we're not sure if these companies are indeed violating the BMC's norms. Additionally, while both private and public sector companies have been encouraged to allow their staff to work from home, this is not a mandatory rule.

While some of the people tweeting their complaints were concerned about the fact that there were long queues outside offices or that centrally air-conditioned buildings with a full office team working within was dangerous, others lamented that they were not being given holidays.

Take a look at some of the complaints:

But who exactly is supposed to be working in full force despite the virus enforced impositions?

According to Praveen Pardeshi the Municipal Commissioner of Greater Mumbai, companies that provide essential services are exempt from the restrictions.

According to a notice posted to the Corporation's website this includes those providing drinking water, sewerage services, banking services and transportation services. Hospitals and medical centres as well as medical stores are exempt as are Media organisations. Those providing essentials such as food and groceries, oil, energy and telephone and internet services are also exempt from this restriction.

Additionally, people have also been asked to avoid gathering in public areas such as beaches in the city.

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Free Press Journal