Mumbaikars Breaking Quarantine, Mask Rules Will Be Arrested; Surprise Visit At Restaurants, Weddings Planned
Yesterday Mumbai recorded 736 new Covid cases and 3 deaths. The grim milestone comes after Jan 6 when the number of active cases was 795. Currently the city has 4,782 active cases.
The entire state meanwhile saw a surge of 5,000 and more cases on Thursday, the precise figure being 5,427 hospitalised, crossing the 5,000 mark after 76 days (since Dec 4).
Plan of Action: Quarantine Violators
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be filing FIRs against those who break home quarantine who will then be sent to compulsory institutional quarantine
High risk contacts of those tested positive will have their hands stamped and will have to take calls from Covid war room officials checking to see if they are at home. These people can expect to be called 5-6 times a day.
Home quarantine disobedience will invite an FIR and 6 months in jail or a Rs 200 fine or both. This follows under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
BMC will also be sending out 300 marshals who aim to catch 25,000 passengers per day in railway stations who are not wearing masks.
Mayor Kishori Pednekar expressed concerns that people have started to take the virus lightly and do not wear masks in crowded trains and stations. The mayor also warned that if people continue to be reckless in their ways, another lockdown may be imminent.
Public Place Precautions
Buildings in Mumbai housing 5 or more positive patients will be cordoned off.
People will have to wear masks without fail when commuting on public transport, streets, footpaths, or visiting shops, malls, eateries, pools, gyms, offices and medical facilities. Only 5 people will be permitted at a time in religious places of worship.
Banquet and wedding venues will also have to observe strict mask-wearing compliance and will be regularly checked. Surprise visits at at least 5 such places will take place each day and criminal charges could be filed against guests who don’t follow the rules.
Testing and Covid Clinics
At least one Covid Care Centre (CCC) will be set up in each ward in Mumbai to house those that are asymptomatic or are a high risk contact of someone tested positive.
Testing will be ramped up in areas identified to have increasing cases. All total number of tests conducted stand at 3,080,528 since the beginning of the pandemic.
Areas Already Under Lockdown
Lockdown was imposed in Amravati from Saturday 8pm till Monday 7am.
Yavatmal will continue to keep its educational institutions closed till end of February. Restaurants and wedding venues will be open but with less than half capacity. Gatherings of 5 or more people is prohibited.
Brazil Under the Scanner
Those landing in Mumbai from Brazil will be sent straight to mandatory institutional quarantine, as opposed to quarantining at home. This is to check against the highly contagious Brazilian strain (B.22.214.171.124 or P.1 variant) which can infect the lungs more easily than the UK variant.