The COVID-19 lockdown has thrown the daily routines of Mumbaikars out of gear, with many housing colonies and residential complexes restricting entry to maids and domestic helps.
A 65-year-old house help testing positive for COVID-19 last week could have triggered the move to bar entry to maids in housing complexes.
The domestic help had reportedly worked at the home of a man, who tested positive for the infection 10 days after his return from the United States.
"After the outbreak and lockdown, housing societies, bungalows and even chawls have restricted entry to maids," said Manisha Khot, a domestic help from Santacruz.
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While some employers have paid their house staff salaries in advance, others like Khot don't have money to buy essentials to survive the lockdown.
For Rushina Mansuri, a house help from Kalina area of suburban Kurla, the fear of contracting the infection is what forced her to remain home.
"I decided to stay at home after one of the residents in the locality I was working in tested positive for the virus. I didn't want to endanger my family's life and mine as well," Mansuri said, adding that she has to depend on ration shops for her essentials.
House helps are an indelible part of Mumbai households, and the pandemic has caused several to leave their jobs with homes they had been working in for decades.
"I had to quit my job with a family I had been working with for more than 10 years. Who will give me work if I test positive for coronavirus," a maid on the condition of anonymity said.