Coronavirus outbreak: The lockdown guide
All the info you need to survive the 21-day curfew that started from yesterday
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on Tuesday night, declaring a 21-day nationwide lockdown, sent Mumbaikars into a panic with many thronging the streets on Wednesday to hoard essentials, mid-day tries to clear the confusion and answer your most urgent questions about the shutdown.
The panic-buying of the essential items, which is supposed to be available during the lockdown, started on Wednesday despite the state government's request to the public to not hoard as there will be constant supply of necessary items like vegetables, grocery and medicines. In several areas, including Kurla, Borivali, Vakola and Andheri, people flooded the streets to make the purchases.
Residents of Girgaum stood in a long queue for cooking gas after a truckload arrived for delivery on Wednesday. Pics/Suresh Karkera
Many claimed they had run out of essential items, while some were worried their stock of vegetables may not last three weeks and feared there won't be a continuous supply of the items. Many rushed to medical stores to stock up medicines as online portals had allegedly delayed the deliveries.
As most of you, risk exposing themselves to the Coronavirus by rushing out of your homes, mid-day attempts to guide you through the lockdown. With hospitals, private clinics, testing laboratories, medical and grocery stores, veterinary clinics and a few of restaurants delivering, there is no need for panic.
Helpline number of the civic administration
Run out of medicines
Customers form a queue to buy medicine, at Grant Road, on Wednesday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
There is nothing to worry about as all the medical stores will remain open during the lockdown. But when you leave your house, remember to go alone and take precautions, like wearing a mask, and don't forget to wash your hands once you are back home. In case of an enquiry by a police officer, just explain to them your situation.
Do I need to carry an ID?
Police officer speaks to a motorist during a nakabandi at Marin Drive. Pic/Ashish Raje
Not really, there is no instructions on carrying any specific ID while leaving home to buy essentials. But you are expected to carry a doctor's prescription if you are on your way to buy medicines, said a civic official.
No food items at home
People rush out to buy vegetables and grocery at Kranti Nagar, Saki Naka. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
If you have run out of essentials and critical home supplies, go to your nearest grocery store as they are allowed to remain open. But expect not to get everything you plan to purchase. Again, you must take precautions and go alone.
How do I get out of city?
Senior citizens must stay indoors. Representation picture
The state government has sealed all the district borders, so it is not possible for anyone to leave the municipal jurisdiction. Only the essential service providers are allowed to travel and for them, BEST and MSRTC have made special arrangements.
What should senior citizens do?
Anyone with travel history must isolate themselves and stay away from senior citizens, who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. The senior citizens are also advised to remain indoors and watch your health.
Differently abled and living alone
With the lockdown in the city, even the house helps are not able to go to work. In such a time, you must seek help from your neighbours or the security guards of your society when need be, said officials, as the government has not given any specific instructions for the differently abled people. However, there is a need to collate a list of NGOs that can help them.
Don't have any money
So far, there has not been any scheme to provide money to the needy, and if a relief package has to be announced for daily wage earners, it will be done by the central government. However, people may try calling the helpline number, 1916, and getting details of non-profit organisations willing to help them.
Home without toilets
While there are no government shelters yet for people without a proper infrastructure, public toilets and community toilets are available at almost all of the areas in the city , said civic officials.
Your pet is ill?
Do not worry, the state government has also allowed the veterinarians to continue with their services and if your vet is open, you can definitely take your pet for a check-up, while ensuring your and the pet's safety.
Can I get hot meals delivered?
Yes, a few restaurants and eateries are providing food deliveries through food delivery portals/app. Some residents and NGOs are also working to provide food and essentials to the policemen and government servants working to enforce the lockdown. However, there are no specific listed agencies or NGOs supplying meals to private individuals, said an official from the disaster management cell in the city.
Dial 1916 in medical emergency
In case you face an immediate medical emergency, take the patient to the hospital in your private vehicle or call for an ambulance. If you don't get a desired response for an ambulance, don't panic, call the helpline number -- 1916 -- or the police control room. They are there to help you.
Showing COVID-19 symptoms?
If you are running a fever and have a dry cough, doctors have advised that you immediately visit your GP. Don't rush to Kasturba Hospital unless your doctor says so. You may also visit one of the private labs/hospitals that have started testing. You may also contact the civic helpline number, 1916, to speak to a doctor to understand if your symptoms are of COVID-19 or not.
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