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No Lockdown But Clampdown: BMC tightens Covid-19 Curbs; Those Flouting Quarantine Will be Booked

People wait in a line outside a vaccination centre in Mumbai.

People wait in a line outside a vaccination centre in Mumbai.

Those who flout home quarantine norms will be compulsorily shifted to institutional quarantine, said BMC

Even though the civic body and ministers have asserted that no lockdown will be imposed in the city, rising Covid-19 cases has forced the BMC to tighten norms in the city.

In a bid to address complacency among citizens, police cases will be registered against those who skip home quarantine, buildings with over 5 cases will have to declare flats with covid patients on notice boards, officials told CNN-News18

Those who flout home quarantine norms will be compulsorily shifted to institutional quarantine, they added.

Over 90 per cent covid cases in high rises and buildings, the BMC said adding that a target to get at least 1 lakh people vaccinated has been set.

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Private hospitals have been allowed to operate 24X7 to administer Covid-19 vaccines. The decision was taken after a special review meeting of the BMC.

Yesterday, civic officials had stated that the situation in Mumbai is under control and there is no immediate need to impose a lockdown in the city. Mumbai on Monday recorded 1,008 fresh infections that raised its tally to 3,34,572.

When asked about the possibility of imposing a lockdown, municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal said there was no immediate need to do so. According to civic officials, the surge in cases is a result of an increase in daily testing.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has ramped up testing significantly from 11,000 to 15,000 tests conducted in January to over 20,000 at present. As many as 23,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted by the civic body on Monday.

The city has recorded a positivity rate of 6 per cent, which is quite less compared to other cities in Maharashtra, a civic official said. The COVID-19 cases were scattered across the city and not concentrated in a particular locality and hence, a lockdown won’t be effective, he said.

“Presently, slums have just 2 to 3 per cent cases, and the number of cases reported from residential buildings are also not high. A lockdown won’t be effective in such a situation,” the official said. Officials have, however, warned that if citizens do not follow the COVID-19 protocol, the civic body may be forced to take stringent steps.

Speaking to media persons, a senior BMC official said nearly 60 per cent beds are available for COVID-19 patients at city hospitals. The civic body has undertaken the third serosurvey in Mumbai and 12,000 samples will be collected from 24-civic wards for this, the official said, adding that a report is expected in two weeks.

The COVID-19 immunisation drive is underway at 67 centres, including 24 civic hospitals, four state-run hospitals and 38 private hospitals, the official said. The civic body is planning to increase the number of the vaccination centres to 85, he said.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh on Tuesday said if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the city, the possibility of a night curfew or partial lockdown cannot be ruled out. Shaikh said local authorities have been empowered to take a decision on lockdown as and when necessary.

first published:March 10, 2021, 17:20 IST