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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

BMC Warns Of Action For Flouting Norms Amid Rise In COVID-19 Cases

Mandatory Institutional Quarantine For Travellers From Brazil

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
I am a mumbai based journalist having worked with many daily newspapers.

INDIA. Mumbai: While the probability of re-imposition of lockdown lurking large amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued sixteen-point guidelines on Thursday, to take strict action against those flouting safety norms.

BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal held a video conference meeting with additional MCs, DMCs, AMCs, and other officers on Thursday. In the meeting, he made it clear that compared to June-July 2020, the situation is well under control, but the laxity in following the preventive norms may spell doom.

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Similarly in a meeting of top officials on Wednesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray advised all concerned to ensure strict implementation of COVID-19 regulations to avoid recurrence of the epidemic in the state. The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar and COVID-19 task force members among others.

As per BMC’s new guidelines, the number of clean-up marshals to keep a watch on people without a face mask and those spitting in public places will be doubled up to 4,800 as against the existing 2400. On average, the action is taken against 12,500 people per day against those  roaming without a mask. Since a large number of people continue to flout regulations, the target of action against defaulters has been revised up to 25,000 people per day in Mumbai. According to official data, the BMC caught over 15 lakh people roaming in public without a mask and collected nearly Rs.30.69 crore in fine since April 01, 2020.

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Now at least 300 clean-up marshals will be deployed on suburban trains with 100 marshals each on Western, Central, and harbour railway to take action against commuters without a mask. Besides, the police will be given powers to take action against those roaming without a mask in public.

The passengers from Brazil

The civic body has made a seven-day institutional quarantine mandatory for travellers arriving at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai from Brazil, where a new strain of the virus has been found. This action is being taken as instructed by the Central Government.

The action against public halls

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The action will be taken against those managing marriage halls, gymnasiums, gymkhanas, clubs, night clubs, restaurants, cinema halls, shopping malls, and private offices if the people are found without a mask and if people are seen crowding the place. The permissible limit of guests at function halls is 50, while restaurants are allowed to operate with 50 percent occupancy at any given time. The action will be taken against the establishments if they are found violating the rules, to ensure that there is no overcrowding.

The BMC squads have been asked to visit at least 5 marriage halls and the halls used for public functions in a day and take penal action, including the imposition of fines, prosecution against the organizers if the number of patrons/ attendees is found to be beyond the permissible limit.

Teachers

Teachers from BMC schools will be deployed at all buildings, offices, and hospitals managed by the civic body, with the powers to take punitive action against those roaming without masks.

The places of worship

While BMC’s watch and ward staff will keep a watch on playgrounds and gardens, to ensure that the people use masks, the gents and lady marshals will be deployed in all places of worship to avoid overcrowding and prevent flouting of norms.

Home quarantine

The civic body has decided to resume stamping of the hands of people who are placed under home quarantine, and in case of violation, an offence will be registered against them. Buildings with more than five COVID-19 patients will be sealed. If an asymptomatic patient steps out of the house or walks around in a public space before the home quarantine period is over, housing societies should inform BMC’s Ward War Rooms about such people. The officials should telephonically call such people 5 to 6 times a day to ensure that they do not come out. The housing societies should communicate to the War Room about such patients.

Area mapping

The areas with new patients should be surveyed by an area mapping system and maximum tests should be conducted. Besides, at least 15 persons in close contact with suspected patients should be isolated.  Besides a patient search will be conducted using mobile dispensaries, if required with help from NGOs, in slums and pockets with a thick population.

Corona Care Centres

Corona Care Centre No 1( for high-risk patients) and Corona Care Centre No 2 (for asymptomatic patients) will be started in every ward. Besides, the beds will be kept ready for the positive patients in Jumbo COVID-19 centres. Also, an arrangement will be made for enough Oxygen beds.

Dashboard

The Disaster management department will collect information about patients and available beds from private, BMC, and Government hospitals every hour and update the information through a Dashboard.

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