Owing to the resurgence of coronavirus cases across Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to shut the iconic Oval Maidan in Churchgate from Friday as a precautionary measure. According to civic officials, controlling the crowd was becoming a challenge, due to which the decision to keep it shut for the public until further notice was taken.
No sports or other activities will be allowed at the Oval Maidan, a grade I recreational ground located in south Mumbai till further orders, said Chanda Jadhav, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of A ward (Churchgate, Fort, Colaba).
Jadhav added, "Last weekend I visited the maidan and found many players, walkers and joggers. Despite repeated appeals to follow social distancing and wearing masks, people were not very co-operative. We have decided to shut the ground till further order as a containment strategy to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The maidan is one of Mumbai’s largest public open spaces and hosts several pitches where cricket and football matches are frequently played. The maidan witnesses huge crowds of sports enthusiasts during weekends. Besides many walkers and joggers also visit the ground every day. Following a spike in daily Covid-19 cases in Mumbai from the second week of February, the civic body has intensified its drive against citizens moving out without masks and large social gatherings where social distancing is not followed.
On Wednesday, Mumbai recorded 1,167 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily spike since November 28.