I returned back to Mumbai on March 28, after spending two eventful months on the road. During this time, Maharashtra, and particularly Mumbai, witnessed another wave of coronavirus, during which the city saw the highest number of Covid cases in one day since the start of the pandemic.
As some of you might know that I often work out of cafes around the city, I like the change of scenery and this helps me keep the creativity flowing, and productivity high.
Similarly, after taking a day’s break relaxing at home, I visited a nearby Starbucks outlet in Atria mall at Worli today, where I was stopped by a BMC (Bombay Municipal Corporation) official at the main entrance, who informed me that showing a negative Covid report is mandatory to enter.
Since I had a negative report from a couple of days back, I was okay to pass. But if one hasn’t taken a test lately, then there is a covid testing facility just outside the gate, and you will have to undergo the test here at a cost of INR 250 (USD 3.40). Note that only rapid antigen test is being conducted here, which gives an instant result, though the accuracy of the report isn’t a hundred percent.
I saw a similar testing facility at Bandra Terminus, upon arrival in Mumbai, where passengers who had a higher-than-normal body temperature had to undergo the Covid test. Although one of the officials at the train station mentioned that testing there was free of cost.
The Maharashtra government is taking strict measures to combat the recent surge in coronavirus cases. The more widely known decision being the imposing of night curfew from March 28 onwards, which will go on from 8pm to 7am.
Nationally, we are being reminded that the fight against Covid-19 is far from over. Earlier today, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued an order bemoaning the fact that compliance with health and social distancing norms is not satisfactory at India’s airports.
The government is warning passengers to keep their distance from each other, and to ensure masks cover both the face and nose. It’s also working with police forces to step up fines for non-compliance.
I enjoyed spending an extended period in Delhi, Agra, and Hyderabad, where restrictions were much less apparent, but it seems there’s no forgetting about coronavirus just yet.
Just as other cities and states plot a path back to normalcy, Mumbai is embarking on a new round of social distancing rules and regulations, which may be with us for some time to come.
How is the coronavirus situation where you are? Does life feel “back to normal”?