Mumbai and Pune make mask wearing compulsory in public amid Covid-19 outbreak

Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh and Odisha too have issued the same order to contain the spread of the virus


Seeing the rapid increase of positive Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, the city became the first to order that hereon it would be compulsory to wear masks in public places. On Wednesday, a notification issued by Praveen Pardeshi, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Praveen Pardeshi, read, “All person moving for whatever purpose and under whatever reason in public place, like street, hospital, office, markets, must be wearing a 3 play mask or cloth mask compulsorily.”

People moving around in their personal offices and official vehicles and others travelling in traffic vehicles, working at any site / office / workplace are also required to wear these masks at all times.

The notification also says that no person or officer is to attend any meeting / gathering without these masks. The masks that the BMC recommends can be the 3 ply masks found at the chemist and if those aren’t available, even home-made washable masks can be made and used after proper washing and disinfection.

The letter has also issued instructions for those who violate these orders. People found breaching the order will be booked under Section 188 of the IPC and strictly penalized, apart from being liable to arrest.

The city saw 72 fresh coronavirus cases on Wednesday. The total count of Covid-19 positive cases now stands at 714, with 45 people having passed away due to the infection.

Apart from Mumbai, Pune too has made it mandatory to wear face masks in public, reported The Indian Express. Currently, there are 197 positive coronavirus cases reported in Pune. The order was issued by the Joint Commissioner of Pune Police Ravindra Shisve and it read, “The number of people who have contracted coronavirus is increasing day by day. As per directives of the World Health Organization, the disease can spread at a very rapid rate. To prevent this, there are several prohibitory orders in force in the city including curfew in some areas. To stop further spread, experts have advised continuous use of masks, hand gloves and sanitizers.”

The order further read, “We are now making use of masks mandatory in all places in jurisdiction of Pune City Police. The masks should be of standard quality or home-made which have been property sanitized. Those in violation of the order will be liable to prosecution under Indian Penal Code section 188 and Provisions of Epidemic Diseases Act.”

Wearing masks in public has also been mandatory by the Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Chandigarh and Odisha governments.

Currently, the government has sealed 20 hotspots in Delhi and even the Uttar Pradesh government has sealed 22 hotspots in 15 districts.

While a lot has been said about the efficacy of masks and that they should only be worn by three groups – people who are afflicted by the virus, caregivers and healthcare workers, medical experts all over the world have come forward to suggest that wearing masks is emerging as a good precautionary measure for the general public from contracting the virus.

The New Yorker spoke to stem-cell biologist and the author of “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” and “The Gene: An Intimate History” in this regard. Mentioning that he thinks everyone should be wearing a mask, he said, “There are the expensive and highly efficient N95 respirators. Doctors have to get fitted for them. They are hard to get. Not everyone should be wearing those, and no one should be hoarding those. Those should be reserved for medical personnel. But then there is a simpler, so-called surgical mask, which is just a filter across your face, which prevents you from secreting respiratory droplets, and prevents others from getting respiratory droplets from you. These are cheap. In the hospital, we used to just use one and throw it away. But under these circumstances, we need a good decontamination protocol. So if you are talking about the simpler ones, then yes. Everyone should be wearing them, because the risk is low, and the return may be high.”

He also told the magazine that there is a vast amount of evidence that viruses that are secreted through respiratory secretions and cough droplets, including influenza and SARS, are decreased in their exposure when people wear masks. So, under conditions when the infections are spreading fast, the evidence suggests that mask wearing really decreases the chance of infecting others and getting infected yourself.


Covid Confusion: Do masks really protect you from the Covid-19 pandemic?



Related Articles