The civic authorities in Mumbai today clamped down with fresh safety measures as Covid numbers in the state and the city remained in an upward trajectory for a week, logging over 5000 cases on Thursday. Mumbai reported 736 cases. Citizens flouting rules for home isolation, weddings and public gatherings will be prosecuted, said an order from Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal. In two districts of the state -- Amravati and Yavatmal -- restrictions were put in place. Amravati has been placed under lockdown over the week-end -- from Saturday evening to Monday.
The Mumbai civic body said 300 marshals will be appointed to take action against passengers travelling without mask in suburban railways. The aim will be to catch 25,000 offenders every day.
Orders have been issued to raid marriage halls, clubs, restaurants etc. to check Covid-appropriate behaviour. Buildings with more than 5 COVID-19 patients will be sealed and patients who test positive and are advised home quarantine will have their hands stamped.
Citizens flouting rules for home isolation, weddings and public gatherings will be prosecuted, the civic body said.
Passengers coming to Mumbai from Brazil will be put in compulsory Institutional Quarantine, the Brihanmumbai Corporation said, as a safety requirement against the highly infectious Brazilian strain.
All these measures will be carried out in tandem with an increasing number of tests in wards that record a growing number of cases, the civic body added.
The authorities say a slackness in maintaining Covid regulations have crept in of late and this is more marked in local trains. "It's a matter of concern. Most people travelling in trains don't wear masks. People must take precautions or we will head towards another lockdown," Mayor Kishori Pednekar has said.
On Sunday, Maharashtra had recorded 4,092 new coronavirus cases -- a first since December. The numbers, since, had maintained a steady rise. Today, the state reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, a new high after a gap of 75 days.
On Wednesday, the state reported 4,787 new COVID-19 cases -- the highest one-day count in more than two months. Amravati reported 230 cases, a sharp rise from the 82 infections it logged on Tuesday.
A few other districts in the Vidarbha region have also registered a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in the recent weeks.
Appealing to the people to follow Covid protocols, Amravati collector Shailesh Naval today said, "Due to the increase in Covid cases, we are imposing a one-day lockdown in Amravati district from Saturday evening 8 pm till Monday morning 7am".
Markets, swimming pools and indoor games, will remain closed, while only five people will be allowed at religious ceremonies, he said. Essential services, however, will remain unaffected.
In Yavatmal, schools and colleges will remain closed till February 28. Restaurants and wedding halls will operate but with less than 50 per cent capacity. Assembly of five or more people will not be allowed, the district collector said.