MUMBAI: Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Tuesday said if the daily COVID-19 cases here cross the 20,000-mark, a lockdown will be imposed in the city as per the Union government's rules. Talking to reporters at her office in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters, Pednekar suggested that citizens wear triple-layer masks while travelling in public buses and local trains.
She also appealed to them to get vaccinated at the earliest and follow all COVID-19-related standard operating procedures (SOPs). Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray might address the citizens in a couple of days, she said.
To a query, Pednekar said the BMC will carry out RT-PCR tests of people returning from Goa by a cruise ship and quarantine them at civic centres, or in hotels if they are ready to pay for it.
Notably, the cruise ship, where 66 of the over 2,000 people on board tested positive for coronavirus, was sent back to Mumbai from Goa late Monday night with all the passengers after some of the infected persons refused to get admitted to a medical facility there, an official from a shipping agency said.
The mayor said that municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has been keeping a close watch on the situation, and he has already hinted about the lockdown, if the COVID-19 cases in the city rise over 20,000.
"Today, no one wants a lockdown and it certainly shouldn't be imposed, as just now everyone is recovering from it. If the lockdown is enforced again, it will badly affect everyone. But, if the daily COVID-19 cases cross the 20,000 mark, a lockdown will be implemented by the civic body and the state government as per the Union government's rules," Pednekar said.
She appealed to citizens to follow COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, avoid overcrowding in markets, malls and marriage functions, and wear masks properly. The mayor also appealed to people to hold marriage functions as per the rules, and ensure such events do not prove to be COVID-19 super-spreaders.
She said currently, only six Omicron patients are admitted in Mumbai hospitals and all other persons infected by the new COVID-19 variant have been discharged. Mumbai is witnessing a huge surge in COVID-19 cases since the last week.
On Monday, the country's financial capital reported 8,082 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily count since April 18, 2021, taking the caseload beyond the eight lakh-mark, while two more patients succumbed to the infection, the BMC earlier said.
Mumbai also reported 40 new cases of the Omicron variant, pushing the number of such infections to 368 in the metropolis, according to the Maharashtra government's health department. With fresh additions, the city's coronavirus tally rose to 8,07,602, while the death toll increased to 16,379 on Monday, as per official data.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)