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Coronavirus in Mumbai: Here's what India's financial capital doing to prevent mass Covid 19 outbreak

politics | Mar 19, 2020 8:55 PM IST

Coronavirus in Mumbai: Here's what India's financial capital doing to prevent mass Covid-19 outbreak

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CM Thackeray has urged the people of the state to avoid non-essential travels, including warning the suspension of Mumbai's lifeline - the local train services.

India's most urban and industrialised state and the country's financial capital are on the edge as the number of novel coronavirus or covid-19 cases have reached close to 50 and a fatality from the pandemic. Maharashtra has reported the highest 49 out of the 180 cases of the coronavirus India has detected until Thursday evening.

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Mumbai has so far reported 18 cases and the lone death in the state, putting severe pressure on authorities to prevent an explosion of the virus cases. As it is, this week alone the number of cases have risen 3.5 times from reporting just 14 cases on March 13 to 49 on March 19.
Here are few steps authorities have taken so far to prevent  a coronavirus or Covid-19 outbreak in Mumbai:
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has talked about imposing extreme social distancing measures to prevent community transmission of the virus, including complete or partial shutdown of train, bus and metro services. In fact, some of it has already begun with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issuing orders to identify roads on which all shops and commercial activities will be closed on alternate days.
  • CM Thackeray has urged the people of the state to avoid non-essential travels, including warning the suspension of Mumbai's lifeline - the local train services.
  • Spread over 390 km, the suburban railway operates 2,342 train services and ferries over 80 lakh commuters every day. The Mumbai Suburban Railway is one of the busiest commuter rail systems in the world and the BrihanMumbai Electric Supply Transport (BEST), with over 3,500 fleet of buses, keeps the city on its toes.
  • A complete shutdown of BEST bus services as well as the suburban train services would bring India's financial capital to a grinding halt. It could throw life out of gear with millions unable to get to work dealing a body blow to the country's already tepid economy.
  • For now, the state government has asked the BEST to not allow standing passengers in buses and ask those occupying seats to keep proper distance from co-passengers. BEST’s official twitter handle put out an advisory stating: "Mumbaikars are requested not to travel standing in the BEST buses from tomorrow onwards."
  • The government will make efforts to mobilise additional buses. A similar 'no standing passenger' order is likely to come for the suburban train and metro services.
  • The Western Railway has decided to cancel AC local services in Maharashtra from Friday. The AC local trains will be replaced by non-AC suburban trains till March 31, said Western Railway PRO. 16 AC suburban services running on Transharbour line — Thane-Vashi/Nerul/Panvel — will also be cancelled from March 20 to March 31.
  • The AC local services on Thane-Vashi-Panvel trans-Harbour corridor will be suspended till March-end.
  • The railway authorities have raised platform ticket price from Rs 10 in Mumbai to Rs 50 to minimize footfall in the stations.
  • A PTI report on Thursday said that already there is a 27 percent dip in passengers on Western Railway, 40 percent in Mumbai Metro and 51 percent in state transport buses.
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