The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has waged a targeted war against the COVID-19 pandemic by levying penalties on people who are flouting the mandatory mask norm. The civic body has, until now, retrieved approximately ₹65 crores as fines from those found 'mask-less' in public places. As per reports, the no-mask fine in Mumbai is marked at ₹200 to ensure a stricter guard against coronavirus amid the emergent rise of fresh cases and the anticipatory threat of the 'third wave'.
COVID Marshals to charge fines as per daily targets
With the advent of the COVID pandemic in Mumbai last year, the BMC had formulated a mandatory mask policy for all when in public, to break the chain of virus transmission. To enforce the rule with strictness, the offenders were to be taxed with a fine. As per the latest figures, the civic agency has collected a total of ₹64,57,53,400 as fines until now. On Saturday alone, a total of 5174 people were penalised with ₹10.3 lakh for not wearing face masks.
With fresh cases spiking yet again in Mumbai, the BMC has direct ward officials to assign COVID marshals with minimum targets to refocus the fight against the infection. The BMC Chief has issued for the same, highlighting the fact that he will personally supervise the system at each ward. The targets should be fulfilled daily, he added.
Earlier, the civic body had adopted the target system during the second phase of the pandemic. Notably, the municipal agency had then doubled up the number of COVID marshals and assigned each official with the target of fining up to 25,000 offenders daily.
Pandemic is not over till 80% of the population is vaccinated
With the new case count and positivity rate being constant, Mumbai logged in around 300 infections daily during the month of August. Newer detections are being recorded among children, in line with the warnings issued for the 'third wave'. Experts had earlier suggested that a successive wave will have the highest impact amongst younger hosts. This is primarily because this section of the population ( up to 17 years of age) does not have the provision for vaccination.
While WHO experts have stated that the COVID-19 situation is moving towards an 'endemic' (restricted) stage, the BMC has clearly announced that the pandemic is not over till 80% of the population in Mumbai is vaccinated. As of now, Mumbai's first dose coverage stands at 78.4%, whereas 28.8% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.