Mumbai deploys marshals to ensure people wear masks amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Mumbai: As Mumbai is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases in the past few days and the current situation is “worrisome”, the state government has deployed marshals to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing at public and religious places, said Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Friday.

While speaking to ANI, Pednekar said that people need to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and action will be taken against those who are violating the norms.

Worrisome condition

“The current condition of COVID-19 in Mumbai is worrisome, but we are doing all things to contain the spread of the virus. We had issued new guidelines yesterday. We are taking action against those who are not following the guidelines,” she said.

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“We have deployed marshals at public places and all religious places in Mumbai. It is the responsibility of all to take care of our Mumbai and take precautions and adhere to guidelines issued by the government to contain COVID-19,” she added.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had on Thursday, issued fresh COVID-19 guidelines in Mumbai amid a rise in cases.

Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said that according to new guidelines, buildings found to have more than five COVID-19 patients will be sealed and the number of marshals to be deployed across Mumbai will be doubled to take action against citizens without masks, with the aim to catch 25,000 offenders every day.

BMC guidelines

According to BMC guidelines, marshals will be deployed in suburban trains to take action against those travelling without masks. In order to take action against unmasked travellers on the Western, Central, and Harbour Suburban Railway services in Mumbai, a total of 300 marshals will be deployed (100 marshals on each line).After being suspended for almost ten months since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown last year, the local train services in Mumbai were resumed for the public from February 1.

The Mumbai police are now being empowered to take action against unmasked citizens. The police can also act as marshals by imposing fines on the violators.

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) teachers will be deployed at all buildings, offices, hospitals, managed by MCGM with powers to take punitive action against those roaming without masks.

Women marshals

In order to monitor all places of worship, women marshals will also be deployed along with male marshals. Roaming without a mask, gathering of more than 50 people at a time or any such violation will lead to punitive action.

Action will also be taken against those found in playgrounds and parks without masks.

BMC in a tweet on Friday informed that there are 6,577 active COVID-19 cases in the city including 823 new cases, 2,98,435 patients have been discharged after treatment and 11,435 deaths have been reported till date.

According to the health department, Maharashtra reported 6,112 new COVID-19 cases, 2,159 discharges, and 44 deaths in the last 24 hours. Total cases in the state stand at 20,87,632, including 19,89,963 recoveries, 44,765 active cases 51,713 deaths.

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