Wearing masks now mandatory in Mumbai, those not complying to be arrested

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the civic body of Mumbai, has made it compulsory for people to wear masks in the city who step out of their homes for any reason to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“All persons moving in public places for whatever reason must wear a 3-ply mask or cloth mask compulsorily,’’ the civic body said in its order, adding that home-made masks could also be used.

It also said that not wearing masks in Mumbai is a punishable offence under the India Penal Code (IPC) and those not complying with the order will be arrested.

The move is aimed at preventing the COVID-19 spread and came shortly after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged people to wear masks before stepping out of their homes.

Thackeray also appealed to former defence health personnel to come forward and extend their services in the fight against coronavirus. In his address to the people that was webcasted live, the chief minister asked defence health professionals, nurses, ward boys who have retired from the service or those who have been trained in medical services but don't have jobs to help the state in the 'war' against coronavirus.

"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," Thackeray said.