The Maharashtra Government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have no plan to close all the shops except those providing milk and medicines as done by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation amid rising coronavirus cases. However, the government and BMC are in favour of further tightening the COVID-19 norms to minimize crowding to reduce the spread of infection in Mumbai city. At present essential shops, grocery stores, medical shops and chemists are allowed to function.
Incidentally, none of the political party leaders at the video conference with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made case for closure of all shops but for medical and milk in Mumbai. However, they insisted to further strengthen the management of hospitals in the wake of rising coronavirus positive cases. The Inter-Ministerial Central Team a fortnight ago, during its visit, had projected that Mumbai will have 75,000 coronavirus positive cases, comprising 12,000 symptomatic and 63,000 asymptomatic by end of May.
The Maximum city passed the 10,000 mark and were at 10,714 on Wednesday when the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said he was concerned with Mumbai and Maharashtra situation and will hold a meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to review disease containment efforts.
A BMC officer told FPJ, "As of now the closure of all shops except medical and milk is not under BMC’s consideration. The Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi on May 5 clarified that non-essential and liquor shops will remain shut but on May 6, he ordered that one hardware and electronic shop on a road will be allowed to open.’’ He said Mumbai city has been categorized in Red Zone with more than 1,500 containment areas.
An officer from the state urban development admitted that the number of positive cases in Mumbai have been rising and the downward trend is yet to set in. He further stated that gathering of crowds in large numbers without following the social distancing will be detrimental to the control of spread of virus and the advantage of the lockdown will be lost.
On the other hand, the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association has urged the government and BMC to allow non-essential shops of household products, kitchenware, shaving accessories, toys, games and new babies products to open in the city.