Panvel civic body makes masks mandatory as COVID-19 cases go up

Panvel: After a sudden rise in corona positive cases, the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) has made it mandatory for the public to wear masks in public places including in personal and official vehicles. The civic body has also warned of fine if anyone is found without masks in public places.

After relaxation in Mission Begin Again, citizens were seen violating basic norms and roaming without masks. “We have noticed that people are not following norms like social distancing and wearing masks in public places,” said Sudhakar Sonawane, municipal commissioner. He added that after relaxation in lockdown, instances of violating norms have increased.

People including government officials have to wear masks at hospitals, offices, chemist shops, among other public places in the PMC area.

In the last ten days, more than 500 positive cases of coronavirus have been reported under the PMC’s jurisdiction.

A delegation led by Panvel MLA Prashant Thakur met civic chief on Wednesday and discussed in details about the cause of the rising number of positive cases in Panvel. “Number of positive cases is more than 1400 and 63 people have lost their lives due to corona. There is a need to focus on areas that is causing the rise in cases,” said Thakur. For the last 10 days, more than 50 positive cases are reported which is a cause of concern, added Thakur.

Earlier, the civic chief had warned people and shopkeepers to follow the social distancing norms. “We had sealed some shops and there will be a tough action in days to come if there is a violation in the norms,” said Sonawane. He added that under the Disaster Management Act, people will be fined Rs 100 for not wearing masks.

The PMC had sealed 32 shops for not maintaining social distance across its jurisdiction. Most of them were grocery shops and there was no queue at these shops when civic the officials visited there. According to officials from PMC, 8 shops in Kharghar, 4 shops in Kalamboli, 13 shops in Kamothe and 7 shops in Panvel were sealed on Sunday after they were found violating the norms under the Mission Begin Again.

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