Mumbai, Feb 16
Chaos ensued in a housing society at Chembur in North East Mumbai, after a local resident shot a video of a 23-year-old Naga woman suspecting her to be a Chinese national suffering from novel coronavirus and circulated it online.
The 23-year-old woman, who was donning a mask, had just arrived in Mumbai from Nagaland, to visit a friend staying in the society on February 10. The Naga woman, a video-blogger, arrived in Chembur around 8.30 PM and was ringing the apartment’s doorbell, when, to her surprise, a male resident of the building started shooting her while trying to engage her in a conversation.
Subsequently that neighbour who had video graphed the visiting woman, passed it on to the l owner of the flat, who had gone to Kerala, .in which the host is residing. Within minutes (at about 8.57 PM), the host, received the video from her Kerala-based owner, who questioned her about the visitor.
The host, is also a 23-year-old woman, from Nagaland studying at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in North East Mumbai. She had been staying in the flat for a year. “I was shocked to see the video, where my friend, who had just arrived from the airport, was filmed by my neighbour. When I confronted him, it led to a major argument. His wife even asked my friend to leave the building,” she said.
”My neighbour claimed that he assumed my friend to be Chinese, and since she was wearing a mask, he thought she was infected with the coronavirus,” the TISS student said, adding that after she tried to tell him that it amounted to “racial discrimination” the fight escalated. Her friend eventually went away to stay with another acquaintance. The TISS student intends to lodge a complaint with the institute’s North East Students’ Forum.
In similar incident on 14 February, a residential colony at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai, had pressed the panic button and sought the intervention of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), thinking one of its residents, who works in Singapore and had recently returned from Sri Lanka, was infected. Ever since the coronavirus broke out in China’s Wuhan, instances of race-based discrimination have been reported from the world over.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, 11 persons suspected to be infected were admitted and kept under observation in Maharashtra. They included 5 in Kasturba Hospital(Mumbai), 3 in Naidu Hospital( Pune) and 3 in District Hospital (Sangli). The patients in Kasturba included a crew member (Philippines national) of the “Fred. Olsen Cruise Liner “ Boudicca””. The cruise liner arrived in Mumbai on Saturday.
“He was suffering from cold and fever and as such he was admitted to the hospital. However his condition is stable. There are 824 personnel, including crew and passengers, on board the ship. They all are safe, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.
In Maharashtra,till now 49 out of 60 patients admitted to different hospitals, have been discharged. Besides, the health condition of 193 passengers was monitored and 137 passengers were given clean chit after 14 days of surveillance. Also, till date a thermal test was conducted on 34,283 passengers at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. Maharashtra has 39 isolation wards and 361 beds, he added.
In the meanwhile Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist with the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Health Security, Baltimore, USA has said that certain environmental conditions including cold weather and humidity is conducive to the transmission of viruses.
In Wuhan province in China, the epicentre of coronavirus, the temperature had been in the region of 6-8 degree Celsius, for about a month. In such cold temperature, the transmission of viruses takes place within 15 seconds. The virus cannot last in the temperature of 30 degrees and above. As such the scientists world over are hoping that onset of summer may bring in relief from the infection.