The joy of going on a shopping spree to their favourite mall was short-lived for many residents of Navi Mumbai. Shopping malls that were closed for around four and half months due to pandemic opened on Wednesday but downed shutters within 10 hours due to the torrential rains and low footfalls. Worse still, given the coronavirus situation in Navi Mumbai, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has now decided to keep all malls and shopping complexes in their jurisdiction closed till August 31. The civic body issued a new circular on Wednesday night and put on hold on its earlier decision that allowed opening malls and shopping complexes in the city under the Unlock 3.
The civic administration claimed that people living outside of NMMC travelled to the malls there. “It was observed that many people were travelling from outside our limits to the mall. To avoid unreasonable crowding, the decision to open malls and shopping complexes has been put on hold,” said municipal commissioner Abhijit Bangar.
Under Unlock 3, the state government allowed the opening of shopping complexes and malls, except foot court inside the malls. Following the state government’s directive, the civic body issued a circular and allowed the opening of malls in the city.
According to civic administration, the NMMC is still battling with the coronavirus crisis in its jurisdiction. “The civic body is taking a number of measures to contain the spread. The number of active cases is already around 4,000 and if people from other areas travel to NMMC’s jurisdiction, all efforts in containing the virus will go in vain,” said another senior civic official.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a record 1,113 people were cured and discharged from NMMC hospitals. So far, 19,143 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 have been cured with a 74% recovery rate in the city.