Word of the impending lockdown had everyone in panic mode. “Will our helpers come to work?” Worried the middle and upper classes. ” Will we lose our jobs again?” Was the apprehension of said helpers.
” If police stop us, we’ll say arrest us and our whole family. At least in prison we will get to eat” many maids were heard discussing. Many have husbands who have been out of work for a year or more.
But today Vandana Bai, who comes to work in Bajaj Nagar all the way from Wadi on Amraoti road was pleasantly surprised to see Autos plying. No policeperson stopped her or questioned her either. ( Last year’s lockdowns had seen her out of work for 4 months!)
Same was the experience of Domestic labour everywhere. Only those who wanted to enjoy an unscheduled holiday stayed home blaming it on police. ( Mostly Male Drivers…even NMC emplyed drivers had gone on French leave we found!)
This despite wide spread objections, even anger by Nagpurians, the first day of lockdown 2021, beginning March 15th has been a success.
Even the ever busy West High Court road, even the Dharampeth stretch looked deserted and forlorn at 5 p.m.!
Shops and restaurants were closed, except for grocery stores, pharmacies and fruit and vegetable vendors. But no rush of customers was seen anywhere.
The count of positives was 1872 yesterday ( including Nagpur rural). The Laxminagar zone number was 263.
Laxminagar, Dhantoli etc have become Nagpur Hotspots with multiple people living in the same complex becoming positive at once. For instance LIC Colony in Dhantoli which had 23 positive!!! They have all been quarantined in VNIT.
” We have identified some places and some people as Superspreaders” said Dr Deosthale Medical in charge of the zone.
” Young hangouts like Pizza Hut, KFC, Domino’s are constantly crowded as are Street Food joints like Chat and Pani poori stalls too. Crowds of 15 – 20 youngsters are seen hanging around ( without masks) at any time of the day and night. Imagine if even 10% of them are Positive? They lead to an explosion of the spread.
Along with such Food joints, the delivery guys working for Zomato, Swiggy etc are being counted as potential Superspreaders. But since we cannot locate them at any one office space it is impossible to test them. We suspect many could be asymptomatic carriers.”
TESTING CITY WIDE BEING CARRIED OUT ON WAR FOOTING
One of the many reasons Nagpur city and district, is showing large number of positives is the frenetic pace of testing.
210 walk in were tested on Khamla road and 48 in Jaitala today.(Results will be available tomorrow).
NMC has mobile vans also going around in identified hot spots and persuading people to test. But no one is being forced to do so said Dhananjay Jadhav Sahayak Adhikshak.
THIS VIRUS IS ‘ELITIST’!
Why are slum dwellers not being tested en masse since all household helpers come from there ? We enquired.
” We have done it but surprisingly most people living in crowded, unhygienic Bastis have been negative. They seem to have developed hard immunity. Their resistance or immunity TO CORONA VIRUS seems to be high for some reason.
The virus is seen to be attacking Elite and upper class people more!” Said Dr Deosthale.
WHY THE RAPID SPREAD?
” Come 2021 many Nagpurians got into a Holiday frenzy! Going to Goa, Hyderabad, Rajasthan etc became a craze. All modes of travel have opened, roads, railways, air travel and people are exploiting the opportunity “.
Yes! We all know friends like Monu ( name changed) who drove to Hyderabad to visit Film city for a 2 day holiday but ended up driving all the way to Goa because ” no one was in the mood to come back to Nagpur”.
Most Indians try and smuggle alcohol from Goa or Daman and Diu.
This time have they ‘ smuggled in’ Corona too??