BMC warns of action against violation of COVID-19 rules

Number of marshals to fine people for not wearing masks to be doubled; societies with more than five patients to be sealed

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in a bid to check the growing number of COVID-19 cases, said on Thursday that those violating rules while arranging wedding receptions and other programmes would face legal action. It also announced to double the number of marshals to fine citizens who do not wear masks in public places. Travellers from Brazil would be sent to a mandatory institutional quarantine of seven days, it said.

The BMC guidelines were issued after Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal chaired a meeting of civic administration officials to take stock of the situation.

As per the guidelines, asymptomatic patients kept in home quarantine would be stamped on hand as per the previous practice. The civic administration would call the person five to six times a day to ensure that the person has not left home. In case the patient ventures out, a local war room will initiate legal action and the patient will be placed in an institutional quarantine facility.

Further, all housing societies with the number of patients exceeding five will be sealed. Organisers and owners of marriage halls, hotels, shopping malls, and theatres can be fined for violation of safety norms.

The present number of marshals to keep a tab on people with no masks and those who spit in public places will be increased from 2,400 to 4,800. A minimum 25,000 people would have to be fined daily, the guidelines said. Each of the suburban railway lines — Western Line, Central Line, and Harbour Line — would have 100 marshals to enforce the compulsory mask-wearing rule. The police too have been authorised to fine people without masks. Besides, female marshals would be deployed at religious places.

Areas with COVID-19 patients will go under area mapping and aggressive contact tracing. At least 15 contacts of each patient would be identified and tested. For slums and narrow residential lanes, mobile vans will be used for testing. Each ward will have one centre for high-risk contact persons and one for asymptomatic patients.

A dashboard will keep updating information of available beds in government and private hospitals, and also of COVID-19 patients. Jumbo COVID-19 centres too have been told to be ready with beds and oxygen cylinders.

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