Mumbai Makes Wearing of Masks Compulsory at All Public Places; Those Flouting Order Face Arrest

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday made wearing masks compulsory in all public places in India's financial masks. The corporation has made it mandatory to wear masks while stepping out for whatever reasons -- a home-made mask will be allowed as well.

Those found violating the rule will punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"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," an order issued by Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said. "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 decision came after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier on Wednesday urged people to use masks while going out of their homes and appealed to former defence health services personnel, retired nurses and ward boys to join the "war" against coronavirus.

In his address to the state via live webcast, Thackeray regretted the inconvenience caused to citizens due to the lockdown, but said "we don't have any other option".

Appealing to citizens to stay safe during the pandemic, Thackeray said, "People should inculcate a habit using homemade masks while stepping out of their homes to buy essentials now, and also later when the situation improves."

He urged former defence health services personnel, nurses and ward boys who have retired from service and those who are trained in medical service but don't have jobs to come forward to help the state in the "war" against coronavirus. "Maharashtra needs you," he added.

Thackeray said those who wish to help the state in fighting the virus should give their contact numbers on the email ID He said separate clinics for ailments like cough, cold and fever will be set up in every ward and 'COVID hospitals' will also be set up to ensure there is no transmission.

Treatment will be given separately to asymptomatic patients, those showing mild symptoms and those with severe symptoms and other illnesses.

(With inputs from PTI)