Mumbai’s Chembur area is once again on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) radar owing to the sudden spike in daily COVID-19 cases. Reportedly, at the start of the global pandemic, the M-West ward was one of the worst-affected wards in the city.
The civic body of the city on Monday stated Chembur is reporting the highest number of daily cases, which is a matter of concern, and there are chances that the BMC is likely to impose local lockdown measures.
As per the BMC date, a week ago, the ward was recording less than 15 new cases daily, which has now increased to more than 25 cases. The daily Covid-19 growth rate of the ward is 0.28%, higher than the city’s average growth rate of 0.14%.
Also read: Are We Prepared For Another Lockdown?
To contain the spread of the virus the BMC has warned residents to either follow the guidelines or be ready to face yet another lockdown. The civic body has started issuing stringent guidelines to residential societies in the ward with the subject line— ‘Appeal/Instructions to all societies to follow strict covid guidelines’.
“Your society will restrict the entry of outsiders to a minimum including maids/milkman etc; measures like thermal screening to be strictly implemented; positive cases, if any in society, to follow strict quarantine guidelines by the family for 14 days; others in the family to get tested compulsorily as high-risk contacts and any other symptomatic person in society to get checked for Covid through MCGM,” read the BMC statement.
Afternoon Voice spoke to several residents of the Chembur area, and asked are they prepared for another lockdown? Here’s what they had to say:
Gaurav Singh an MBA student from Chembur told Afternoon Voice, “If the cases are rising then the government should impose another lockdown in the area. When asked is what kind of problem people will face if the lockdown will be reimposed.”
“I don’t think so people will face major problems because everyone is mentally prepared how to deal with the lockdown. Initially, it was a new concept (lockdown) for all of us but now It won’t be as stringent as it was imposed at the beginning of the pandemic,” added Singh.
Disha Goraksha a law student from Tilak Nagar said, “I think everyone is prepared for another lockdown if the government will impose. There is a surge in the number of cases in Chembur, and for our own safety lockdown is a must is what I feel. Now everything is available online from groceries to essentials so nothing much to worry about. And several people are working from home since the beginning of the pandemic. So, I think another lockdown may not hamper our life, as we all have been to this situation earlier.”
A local BJP worker of Chembur Bhanudas Yashwant Tulsulkar said, “Chembur area is divided into two parts. In the first part, you will find all the upper class and business people while the second part (Siddharth colony, Lal Dongar, P L Lokhande Marg) belongs to the people who earn on a daily basis (Laborer, vendors, drivers). The people from the second section of the area haven’t overcome the previous lockdown phase. And if the government is planning re-impose another lockdown then there are fewer chances that this section (second part) will survive in the coming future. So, I don’t think it’s a wise decision by the BMC.”
Doctor Ayesha Ramnani who is an owner of Gurunanak Dental Clinic, in Chembur said, “The thought of another lockdown gives a chill, the almost same time during the last year we got to know about this dreadful disease and just a month back the news of vaccine gave us all hope that covid is gone for good now but again COVID and Lockdown I really don’t think we are ready for it again on both grounds mentally and financially.”
“I am a dentist by profession and yes COVID has hampered my practice a lot during this last year, this new year gave me hope for my clinic would get back on track but again a lockdown I don’t know if I am prepared for that again. I feel rather than imposing a complete lockdown in Chembur the BMC should put restrictions on public gatherings, strict checking if people are not wearing masks. These are just a suggestion rest whatever is the decision we have to follow, irrespective of the fact that are we prepared or not,” added Ramnani.
Akshay Gupta an entrepreneur from the Deonar area told AV, “I think another lockdown will lead to nothing but the destruction of livelihoods. India has built up herd immunity at large and the number of spikes currently being questioned is not as substantial as it may sound. There is a sudden spike in cases because people have started to put their guard down considering covid is gone. However, instead of lockdowns, raising awareness, enforcing strict rules, and ensuring people adhere to the same would be the correct way forward. There is a lion in the house, locking down and hiding will be a temporary fix – Fencing the boundaries will ensure the lion doesn’t enter again.”
Meanwhile, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Tuesday said that a lockdown may have to be imposed in Mumbai in view of the rise in Covid-19 cases “if people don’t follow rules”.
On Monday, the city of Mumbai recorded 493 COVID-19 cases along with three deaths. The coronavirus caseload in Mumbai has now reached 3,14,569, while the overall death toll stands at 11,420.