With the state apparently hurtling towards a second lockdown, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Wednesday took to the streets and appealed to the people with folded hands to follow all the Covid-19 protocols in public interest.
Pednekar said that nearly 60 per cent of the people are violating Covid-19 protocols like not wearing face masks or maintaining physical distancing, resulting in Covid cases showing a sharp increase in the past one month.
“I appeal to you all, do not force the government to impose another lockdown. Please follow all the protocols strictly. It’s in your hands to avoid another lockdown,” the Mayor appealed.
Pednekar, accompanied by a couple of officials and security personnel, caught a suburban train from Byculla to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and approached the commuters who were not wearing face masks to comply forthwith.
“I have hit the streets myself… We have to unitedly ensure that coronavirus does not spread again,” Pedkenar said, adding that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is doing its level best to ensure that the virus is contained and another lockdown is prevented.
She repeated this on the foot overbridges, roads, lanes and bylanes where many people could be seen sauntering without face masks, and not adhering to the physical distancing norms.
Outside Byculla and CSMT, she approached paan shops, local street-vendors and shopkeepers, urging them to wear masks and insist that the customers follow suit.
“The Corona danger has not subsided yet. We must all remain extremely vigilant, as any let-up could lead to another lockdown in the city and state,” warned Pednekar, herself a former nurse.
This is the second time that Pednekar, 58, a grassroots Shiv Sainik, has plunged headlong among the people to tackle the pandemic crisis.
Last April when Covid-19 was soaring to its peak, Pednekar had donned her nurse’s uniform and moved in various public hospitals to boost the morale of the healthcare workers, medicos and medical students, earning public laurels.
A four-time corporator from Worli, once among the worst-hit by Covid-19 in Mumbai, Pednekar said she has already registered for vaccination and could move around unhindered.
The BMC’s ward offices have started sending missives to chairpersons/secretaries of various housing complexes in Mumbai stressing on the need to follow Covid-19 protocols and other safeguards if any new cases are detected.
Some of the areas with a spike in cases include the thickly populated suburbs of Borivali, Mulund, Chembur, Tilak Nagar, Andheri and Vile Parle, which have added to the BMC’s concerns.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had warned of another lockdown if the people did not cooperate with the health authorities.
In a related development, Buldhana district authorities clamped full restrictions till February 28 in view of the increasing Covid-19 cases in the district.
The health and police officials in Pune, Nashik and Solapur have swooped down on people roaming around without face masks or in crowds, imposing fines on them.