In a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 ahead of the festive season, the Mumbai civic body on Monday launched a mass drive against those not wearing face masks and said it will penalise nearly 20,000 such citizens every day.
The drive will continue for at least a month, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said, adding that he will himself monitor the situation every day.
"A large number of citizens under the MCGM do not wear face masks and this can lead to the situation getting difficult in future, thereby delaying further opening up of Mumbai," Chahal said, highlighting the reason behind the mass drive.
"The MCGM is initiating a mass drive of penalising approximately 20,000 citizens per day found without wearing masks in public life," he said in a statement.
The city civic body has set a penalty of Rs 200 for not wearing mask in public places.
Mumbai has so far reported over 2.27 lakh COVID-19 cases and more than 9,300 deaths due to the disease.
Chahal said the number of active cases came down in the city to 22,369 on Sunday from 26,632 on September 11.
The average death rate has also dipped and the doubling rate of cases has slowed down, he said.
According to Chahal, the average death rate has come down to 4.14 per cent from 4.90 per cent.
The doubling rate of COVID-19 cases has slowed down to 69 days from 58 days, while the discharge rate (of patients after recovery) has gone up to 85 per cent from 74 per cent since September 11, he said.
In the last one month, the civic body has increased the number of tests per day to 12,000 from 7,000 earlier, Chahal said.
So far, the civic body has conducted 12.61 lakh COVID-19 tests in the city.
"The MCGM is now striving to increase the number of tests to 16,000 to 18,000 per day," Chahal said.