Mumbai’s dabbawalas (tiffin carriers) Thursday decided to suspend delivery services till March 31 in order to limit the risk of the spread of coronavirus which has infected 47 people across Maharashtra, the highest in the country, so far.
The dabbawalas ferry tiffins of home-made food to thousands of office-goers in the city every day. They also provide free food outside three hospitals to relatives of patients who come from far-away places.
Some five thousand dabbawalas deliver around two lakh lunch boxes to offices in Mumbai every day. They are known for their flawless delivery system, which has been studied by global management experts.
The state government has already announced the closure of all schools and colleges in urban areas till March 31. Shopping malls across the state will also remain shut till month-end. Grocery stores, which sell commodities of daily need at the mall, will remain open.
On Monday, the Maharashtra government began marking all those who have been medically advised to self-quarantine with a stamp in indelible ink and the words ‘Home Quarantine’ in a bid to ensure they isolate themselves for 14 days. The ink is the same that is used to mark voters at elections.
“Those who require self-quarantine but don’t want to stay in hospital or hotels and want to go home, they should have a sense of responsibility. They should not roam around freely. They should follow quarantine strictly,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had told mediapersons.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines