Coronavirus Outbreak: Its Official! Face masks made compulsory in Mumbai

Updated: Apr 08, 2020, 20:44 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi issues decree ordering people moving around in public places like streets, hospitals, offices, markets, etc, for whatever reasons to wear a face mask. Thane and Pune follow suit

People wearing face mask on Bandra's SV Road. Pic: Pradip Dhivar
People wearing face mask on Bandra's SV Road. Pic: Pradip Dhivar

In a first for the country, face masks have been made compulsory for all Mumbai citizens wanting to move around in the city, in any public places for whatever reasons, according to a BMC notification here on Wednesday.

Issuing a circular, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also warned of arrest under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for flouting its order. According to a report published in IANS, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday made face masks as compulsory part of attire for all citizens in Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune Metropolitan Region who want to move around in any public places for whatever reasons

In a decree, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said the measure was necessitated as studies have revealed that wearing face masks can substantially reduce the spread of coronavirus from and to persons coming in contact with each other, besides other mandatory social distancing measures already implemented.

He has ordered that any persons moving around in public places like streets, hospitals, offices, markets, etc, for whatever reasons must wear a face mask.

maskmid-day has a copy of the decree issued by BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi

This would also be applicable to all people moving around in their official or personal vehicles at any site, office or workplace, besides attending any gatherings or meetings at workplaces.

The masks can be the regular 3-layer masks or cloth masks, either available with pharmacies or home-made which can be washed and reused after disinfecting them, Pardeshi said.

Shortly thereafter, Thane Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar also issued similar orders for the city, which falls under the MMR.

The civic chief's strict orders -- with punitive clauses -- came as Mumbai continued to soar highest in the country in terms of maximum Covid-19 deaths (40) and positive cases (686) till today.

With an increase of 773 cases in the last 24 hours, India's total number of COVID-19 cases stood at 5,194, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.Out of the 5194 cases, 4,643 cases are reported to be active cases while 401 people have recovered/discharged and one migrated. The ministry has reported 10 new deaths in the last 24 hours increasing the toll to 149.

In an address to the state on Wednesday, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray also appealed the people to wear masks in public places.

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