AGENCIES, Mumbai/New Delhi: On Wednesday afternoon, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) made it mandatory for people to wear masks while stepping out from home and in all public places.
By evening, the idea was caught up with the Delhi government and an announcement was promptly released for Delhiites that it is compulsory for people to wear face masks when stepping outdoors. Announcing the decision after a high-level meeting, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Wearing of facial masks can reduce the spread of coronavirus substantially.” “Therefore, it has been decided that facial masks will be compulsory for anyone stepping out of their house. Cloth mask shall be eligible too,” he tweeted.
Wearing of facial masks can reduce the spread of corona virus substantially. Therefore, it has been decided that facial masks will be compulsory for anyone stepping out of their house. Cloth mask shall be eligible too.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 8, 2020
Several coronavirus hotspots have been identified in Mumbai and Delhi. BMC has identified and sealed off over 241 containment zones in Mumbai where no will be allowed to move in or out.
People flouting the make rule will punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Mumbai authorities have warned.
“All persons will be moving for whatsoever purpose and under whatever reason authority in public place, like street, hospital, office, markets must be wearing three-ply mask or cloth mask compulsorily,” said the order issued by Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.
BMC is allowing people to use standard masks that are available with the chemist or even homemade washable masks and can be reused after proper washing and disinfection.
The decision to formally enforce the mask rule came after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday urged people to use masks while going out of their homes and appealed to former defence health services personnel, retired nurses and ward boys to join the “war” against coronavirus.
Thackeray addressed the state via live webcast and regretted the inconvenience caused to citizens due to the lockdown, but said “we don’t have any other option”.
Thackeray said those who wish to help the state in fighting the virus as volunteers should give their contact numbers on the email ID Covidyoddha@gmail.com. He said separate clinics for ailments like cough, cold and fever will be set up in every ward and ‘COVID hospitals’ will also be set up to ensure there is no transmission.
Treatment will be given separately to asymptomatic patients, those showing mild symptoms and those with severe symptoms and other illnesses.
As on Tuesday, the total number of coronavirus cases in the national capital rose to 576, with 51 fresh cases and two deaths being reported in a day.
With agency inputs