Restaurants workers in the rural Bangalore lack awareness about covid-19 guidelines. While they were wearing masks initially, they have now become complacent.
Bangalore: Salim, a food stall worker in Ramohalli village and his staff members do not wear masks during their work hours. They used to be cautious when the pandemic was at its peak. Their customers too, have started depicting similar behavior.
Salim said, “Even doctors are saying that there is no cure as of now. Already for so many months in the lockdown we had no business; we can’t sit at home keeping the restaurant shut anymore. People were scared once, now no one cares about masks and sanitation. If we remember to wear masks, we wear, otherwise we don’t.”
Jagadisha, a food stall owner in Maruti Nagar said that footfall has been very low in his stall post lockdown. He said, “I feel, there is no fear of corona anymore, whatever god decides it will happen. No one can stop this virus, if one has a fate of getting corona, he will get it, no matter what.
“The lifespan of a human is already decided and everything will turnout according to that. If we think we can be saved by following covid-19 guidelines, it is foolishness. There is no need of vaccine for me, last week they did covid-19 test on me and the result was negative.”
Vimal Kumar, owner of a restaurant in Thagachaguppe said that in villages no government official checks if one is wearing a mask or not. He said, “When I was in Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar), if a BBMP marshal spotted us not wearing a mask, he would fine us. I always carried a mask and a sanitizer when I was working in RR Nagar but in this village no one cares about all these things.”
“Initially I used to wear a mask and clean my restaurant twice a day but now-a-days I forget to wear a mask. I also see only around 30 percent of people wearing masks in this village. Footfall in my restaurant is low so, I clean the restaurant once in the morning,” he added.
Dr. Kalpana, Deputy Health Officer, Mahadevapura zone, Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagaraPalike (BBMP) said, “The government issued new guidelines for inspection. Our marshals are taking care of checking restaurants and informing them the importance of masks and sanitation.”
“We have appointed one marshal for one ward and health inspectors are already there in every ward. Owners of the restaurants will be fined if the restaurants don’t follow the covid-19 guidelines,” she added.
Rajendra D, Senior Research Officer at Institute of Health Management Research, Bangalore (IIHMR-B) said, “Guidelines have been already given by the BBMP about how to clean the table once the customer vacates the place. Most people ignore these guidelines and also a lot of small restaurant workers are not aware about how to stop the spread of the virus.”
He added, “The biggest problem is a shortage of manpower in rural restaurants. A junior health inspector and a health inspector are assigned to each ward, although they cannot audit every restaurant. The BBMP should appoint more marshals in each ward to look into this matter.”