To help arrest the COVID-19 pandemic by restricting people’s movement in the city, the Mumbai Police on Wednesday imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure till July 15, even as several municipal corporations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region announced a complete lockdown starting Thursday or Friday.
Also read: COVID-19 death toll in Maharashtra Police force reaches 60
While the Thane Municipal Corporation and the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) had already announced a lockdown from July 2 to 12, the Panvel Municipal Corporation and the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) also announced a lockdown for 10 days. The lockdown will begin in Panvel from 9 p.m. on July 3, and at midnight on July 3 in Navi Mumbai.
The Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had already enforced a lockdown starting Wednesday that is scheduled to last till July 10. MBMC Commissioner Vijay Rathod said only home delivery of foodgrains, vegetables, fish, meat, bakery items will be allowed between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., and milk and dairy items will be delivered at doorsteps between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
KDMC Commissioner Dr. Vijay Suryawanshi said the lockdown will be in effect from 7 a.m. on July 2 to 7 a.m. on July 12. In Thane, intercity and State-run buses, taxis and autorickshaws will not be allowed to operate. Only vehicles providing essential and emergency services will be permitted.
NMMC Commissioner Annasaheb Misal said, “Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, it was necessary to declare a lockdown again. Areas around us have announced a lockdown and there is a risk of people from those areas coming here for safety.” The APMC and MIDC will be exempted from the lockdown, he said. While essentials will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., public transport services will not be allowed to operate.
Government offices will function with minimum staff and buses and trains would ply to enable smooth functioning of the supply chain and ferry essential service workers. Around 12 areas under NMMC, which were under lockdown since Monday, will continue to follow the rules till July 13. On July 4 and 5, the NMMC building will be sanitised.
On Wednesday, Panvel reported its highest single-day surge with 136 cases, taking its toll to 2,277. With 60 patients being discharged, the tally of recoveries has reached 1,392. The city’s death toll remains at 77. Meanwhile, the NMMC reported 218 new cases, pushing its toll to 6,823. Six more deaths have taken its toll to 217. With 80 patients being discharged, total recoveries has jumped to 3,834.
In Mumbai city, all movement in the city for non-essential activities is prohibited from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The order issued by Pranaya Ashok, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), prohibits “the presence or movement of one or more persons in public, including religious places, or any gathering, subject to certain conditions” and “any person contravening this order shall be punishable under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.”
“If such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or fine which may extend to ₹1,000, or both,” the order added. All movement of people is restricted from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. except for emergency services, government or semi-government agencies and officials on duty.
Establishments providing services like food, vegetables, milk, ration and groceries; hospitals, medicines, pharma, pathology, medicine/nursing colleges; telephone and internet services; electricity, petroleum, oil and energy-related services; banking, stock exchange, clearing operations, depositories, stock brokers and SEBI-registered participants working through organisations; IT and related services; media; post; services providing home delivery of food and essential services; e-commerce activity; drinking water supply and sanitation; godowns and warehouses; and trucks carrying essential services are also exempted from the order.
(With additional inputs from Raina Assainar)