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The Indian government has announced a series of relaxations across the country, as part of their Unlock 1.0 which comes into effect from the 8th of June 2020. As part of these relaxations, the government will allow the restart of operation for many businesses across India.
One such operation which is said to restart is the plying of auto-rickshaws in the city of Mumbai, Maharashtra. However, with the number of COVID-19 cases still on the rise and Maharashtra being the current epicentre in India, there are a lot of safety concerns in the city.
In order to eliminate this, Mumbai auto-rickshaw drivers have started installing ‘isolation covers' in their vehicles. These covers act as a partition between the drivers and the passengers, ensuring safety for both.
The partitions are sourced by Mumbai-based Vicky Nagpal, who produces and installs these ‘isolation covers' in auto-rickshaws across the city.
Talking about the isolation covers, Vicky Nagpal stated,
"We were already making these covers for cars. Now we are manufacturing it for auto rickshaws. In Mumbai, the State Government is giving relaxation in lockdown day by day. From today auto-rickshaws will be allowed."
He further added, "Auto rickshaw owners came to me and asked for some protection from Covid-19. We made this product for them."
As part of the Unlock 1.0 guideline in the state of Maharashtra, cabs, taxis and auto-rickshaws will be able to ply a maximum of only 2 passengers. However, due to the severity of the situation in the state, these services will be allowed only for essential travels, with passengers required to justify their travel.
Similar to the isolation covers installed in Mumbai auto-rickshaws, cab aggregators in Kerala had also installed plexiglass in their cars to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The plexiglass partition was installed behind the front seats, isolating the passengers and the driver, similar to the isolation covers used by auto drivers — here are more details.
Thoughts About Mumbai Auto-Rickshaw Drivers Installing Isolation Covers
Mumbai and the state of Maharashtra have been the worst-affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is now the epicentre of the outbreak in the country, with cases said to be rising every hour. Now with the ease in lockdown regulations, there is a high risk of cases increasing even rapidly, if all the safety protocols are not followed.