Despite lockdown extension, locals take to streets, ignore social distancing norms

However, according to the announcement, in red zones, under which Mumbai falls, outside the containment zones, certain activities are still prohibited by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Several citizens complained about long queues outside alcohol shops as well as grocery stores.(Satish Bate/HT file photo)
Several citizens complained about long queues outside alcohol shops as well as grocery stores.(Satish Bate/HT file photo)
Updated on May 04, 2020 09:30 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByYesha Kotak

A day after the Maharashtra government announced plans to lift certain lockdown restrictions in the state according to the Covid-19 zones, several areas in the city witnessed a surge in public activities. Several citizens complained about long queues outside alcohol shops as well as grocery stores. In some parts of the city, public transport such as autos and buses were also plying as usual.

However, according to the announcement, in red zones, under which Mumbai falls, outside the containment zones, certain activities are still prohibited by the Ministry of Home Affairs. No relaxation was given to cycle rickshaws, autorickshaws, taxis and cab aggregators, intra- and inter-district plying of buses, functioning of barbershops, spas, and salons.

Hakim Kapasi, who owns a medical store at Andheri, had witnessed a long queue to purchase alcohol from a neighbouring wine shop on Monday morning. Kapasi said there were more than 100 people who had gathered, waiting for the shop to open. “There was no social distancing and many of them did not wear masks. Some of them were spitting on the street as well. However, the shop didn’t open in the morning,” said Kapasi.

Pervez Cooper, a resident of Colaba, stopped several people from getting haircuts outside a gym near Colaba Causeway. However, most of the other shops in his area were shut except for a grocery store.

“The situation on the streets was ridiculous. Vagrants were sitting on the streets and at least 20 people were getting haircuts without any kind of social distancing,” said Cooper.

In Ghatkopar, locals were seen gathering on the streets to chat, while ignoring social distancing guidelines. When Santosh Mehta, an IT professional, stepped out for some essential work, he noticed autos and taxis plying and people gathered on road to talk to each other. “It looked like authorities didn’t seem to care what was happening. There were so many people on the streets and it looked like most of them did not have any work to be out,” said Mehta.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022