The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected a fine of over one lakh rupees from more than 100 people for spitting in the open. This comes after BMC, in its bid to combat the novel Coronavirus outbreak which spreads due to respiratory droplets, had raised the fine for spitting five-fold from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 on March 18.
"Fine of Rs 1,07,000 collected from 107 people for spitting in open. 46 people were also given warning," said BMC.
The decision, which covers spitting in any public place, premises and roads, was taken by BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, a circular informed.
"Spitting in any public place, premises, the road will attract a fine of Rs. 1000. Ward offices, sanitary staff, police are hereby directed to enforce this punishment strictly," the circular stated.
Meanwhile, the total number of positive cases in India has soared over 170, including foreign nationals. The maximum cases of the virus have been reported in Maharashtra and Kerala. A third death was reported in India on Tuesday in Mumbai's Kasturba Hospital. Earlier, two deaths were reported in Kalaburgi and West Delhi.
Further taking actions to mitigate the situation, the BMC has asked all licensed hoarding owners in Mumbai to display messages till March 25, starting from Monday. The directive was issued Praveen Pardeshi under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. Those disobeying the directive will have their hoarding licenses cancelled, the directive warned.
Mumbai has around 1,200 licenses. "Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Against this backdrop, it is need of the hour that an intense awareness campaign be undertaken to minimise the spread of the coronavirus," read the BMC's letter.
The Maharashtra government has taken a number of steps to deal with the novel Coronavirus pandemic. On March 13, CM Uddhav Thackeray declared COVID-19 as an epidemic by invoking the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act. Moreover, he stated that gyms, swimming schools, and theatres in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad would be closed till March 30. A day later, the government confirmed that all schools and colleges in urban areas besides malls will be shut till March 31.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 15, according to sources. The PM and Thackeray deliberated on the measures to tackle the menace of the novel Coronavirus. Currently, Maharashtra has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.