High-risk contact of Covid-19 patient in Mumbai? Quarantine at home or face jail

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to file first information reports (FIR) against home-quarantine violators and then send them to mandatory institutional quarantine.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 19, 2021 08:36 AM IST
A medic in PPE takes a swab sample for during RT-PCR based coronavirus testing at NMMC Hospital Nerul in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.(Bachchan Kumar/ HT Photo )

As the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra and Mumbai becomes worrisome, authorities in the state's capital have issued a number of guidelines to further contain the spread of the coronavirus disease, including booking violators of home quarantine and sealing buildings.

Mumbai on Thursday recorded 736 fresh cases and three fatalities due to the viral infection. This is the highest number of daily cases the city has witnessed since January 6 (795 new cases). Mumbai’s total caseload has gone up to 316,487 while 11,432 people have so far died of the disease. The city’s active caseload stands at 4,782.

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The figures come as Maharashtra crossed the 5000-mark of daily cases on Thursday. The state recorded 5,427 cases, crossing 5,000 for the first time in 76 days (since December 4), and 38 deaths, taking the tally to 2,081,520 and toll to 51,669.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to file first information reports (FIR) against home-quarantine violators and then send them to mandatory institutional quarantine, under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The high-risk contacts of Covid-19 positive citizens in Mumbai may face up to six months imprisonment, or a fine of at least 200, or even both, if they do not remain in-home quarantine, the BMC has ruled.

The civic body also released new guidelines on Thursday stating that buildings in Mumbai that have five or more Covid-19 patients will be sealed. Returning to earlier stricter Covid-19 norms, the BMC will hand-stamped all high-risk contacts of patients and Covid-19 war room officials will telephone home-quarantined patients five to six times a day to check if they are at home.

According to the circular issued by BMC, it is mandatory for people to wear masks while using public transport, commuting in public places such as streets, footpaths, markets, shopping centres, malls, restaurants, gymnasiums, offices, clinics and hospital premises and also at wedding ceremonies and religious places of worship.

The civic body will carry out regular inspections at banquet halls and said that the surprise inspection will happen in at least five such places every day. Criminal action will be taken against those violating the rules. The management of the premises and organisers such as parents and family members of the wedding will face action.

Also, every ward in the city will now have at least one Covid Care Centre (CCC) 1 and CCC2 for quarantine of high-risk contacts and asymptomatic patients. BMC will also map areas where a high number of cases are being detected, to maximise testing in these areas. So far, BMC has conducted 3,080,528 tests since March.

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