Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday made it compulsory for people to wear masks at all public places in Mumbai. Violators would be punished under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), BMC also said in an order. "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," the order issued by Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said.
There are more than 1,000 coronavirus positive cases in Maharashtra. More than 500 cases have been confirmed in Mumbai alone. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in India currently stands just over 5,000. "These masks may be standard mask available with the chemist or even homemade washable masks and can be reused after proper washing and disinfecting them," the order added. Earlier chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asked people to inculcate the habit of wearing masks while going out of their homes He also issued an appeal to former defence health services personnel, retired nurses and ward boys to join the war against coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, India is under a 21-day lockdown currently until April 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier reportedly hinted that the lockdown may be extended further amid rising coronavirus cases all across the country. He was interacting with opposition members in an-all party meeting and discussed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi suggested a few austerity measures to the government that would help to free up funds to fight against the pandemic.