Subhash Talekar, President of the Mumbai Dabbawalla Association, has stated that they suspended operations till March 31 because of a decrease in the number of deliveries and also to stop the spread of coronavirus. Talerkar appealed to the citizens to follow 'Janta curfew' as well.
He said, "Schools were anyway shut and offices were also running will a lesser staff. The dabbawallahs used to deliver 30-35 dabbas daily were only delivering 10-15, so we decided to stop operations till March 31. We all need to cooperate in order to stop the spread of the virus and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared a 'Janta curfew' and has asked everyone to follow it. Today, 5,000 dabbawallas are at home and we appeal to the rest of the country to follow the directives."
When asked about the message to the customers regarding the suspension of services he said, "Since the time we have suspended operations, we have asked our customers to also be at home and not go to work. We have suggested them to take their dabbas together since there will be no food available outside."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, addressed the nation on the virus and asked the citizens to be vigilant and not go out unnecessarily. He called for a 'Janta curfew' on Sunday, March 22 from 7 am to 9 pm in an attempt to break the contact chain amongst people. The move is also being widely touted as a testing measure for a possible curfew in the future. PM Modi also urged senior citizens to not step out of their house for the next few weeks. He also announced the formation of a COVID-19 Economic Task Force under the Ministry of Finance.
At least 325 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in India with six reported deaths.