Mumbai: Mumbaikars smarten up to tackle virus, shed fear

On the first anniversary of the lockdown, the fear of coronavirus has faded away among Mumbaikars. Last year, housing societies across the city disallowed residents from moving out. The entry and exit of maids, drivers, and domestic help was also barred. Even after the city started unlocking following the state government's 'Mission Begin Again campaign', many housing societies opted for voluntary lockdown.

“Mumbaikars are now dealing with the situation very smartly. They have realised that the pandemic is going to stay and they have to deal with it,” said Ashok Gupta, vice-president of Marine Drive Citizen's Association. He added that there are cases in almost every building in Marine Drive, Cuffe Parade, but the panic factor among residents isn't there.

Since February, the majority of the cases are being reported from the western suburbs. Dhaval Shah, founder and spokesperson of Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen's Association (LOCA) which has more than 500 housing societies affiliated with it said that while some people are aware of the safety measures many are still casual.

“It's sad to see that even after one year of the pandemic, many people are reluctant to wear masks. We have now initiated a campaign to ensure that people at-least understand the importance of masks,” Shah said.

Shah is a resident of Andheri West, which presently has the highest active cases in Mumbai. After the pandemic broke out last year, many housing societies in the western suburbs started their own isolation centre inside their society premises. Dhawal said that many of the societies have restarted those facilities witnessing the surge in cases.

Nilesh Vyas, office bearer of Vishwadeep Heights, Kandivali, which was the first housing society to have its own quarantine centre said that the facility in his building will be there till the end of the pandemic. “We have taken permission from BMC to maintain the facility. They have clearly said that the facility will be there till the pandemic situation is there so we have to continue the facility,” Vyas told FPJ.

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