Wednesday, 28 September, 2022
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Here’s how CM and Mumbai Police can control the rise in Covid cases: Kavita Khanna

Kavita Khanna writes an open letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale on people violating the Section 144 order.

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Respected Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale,

Uddhav, I commend you and your team on your order of 4 April 2021, under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. It is a balanced and much required intervention that I am hopeful will result in a decline in the spread of Covid-19 in Mumbai.

In this context, I write to you on a matter of grave concern. This morning when I was walking outside Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens, Malabar Hill, I saw a group of eight persons doing yoga and exercises on the footpath just outside the garden. Not one of them was wearing a mask. When I politely asked them to wear a mask, they became aggressive and combative and told me to stay at home if I was concerned about Covid. This is not the first time I have received such a hostile reaction. I am sorry to say that this is the standard response I get from educated, wealthy persons who are maskless on Malabar Hill.

Walkers and joggers, whom I have asked to wear a mask in public, say they fear that the mask will suffocate them. According to the South African Journal of Sports Medicine and the USA National Center for Biotechnology Information, (NCBI), it is most definitely possible to run and exercise with a mask. They recommend a breathable, clean double layered cloth mask. For those who are uncomfortable with a mask, they have the option of exercising at home for the next three weeks or for the duration that wearing masks in public places is mandatory.


Also read: Reasons behind Maharashtra’s disastrous Covid showing dragging the India story down


Sirs, your and Maharashtra’s best efforts will be compromised if individuals selectively choose not to wear masks, and flout rules as per their preference. I therefore suggest that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Police create a website where people can upload the exact location and photographs of those who are not wearing masks in public places, or are in breach of Section 144 or the Maharashtra government’s Order No: DMU/2020/CR. 92/DisM-1, dated 4 April 2021.

I suggest that there be live monitoring of this website, and that the local police be sent immediately to take the strictest action, under the law, against violators of the Order. I believe that if strict punitive action were taken immediately, and publicised, it would act as a deterrent for flagrant violation of the law, and we will have higher compliance and a better chance of bringing Covid-19 under control in Mumbai.

Sirs, I know that you Uddhav Thackeray and your administration, and Hemant Nagrale you and the Mumbai Police, are over-extending yourselves and doing your best for us, the citizens of Mumbai. I think it is time we step up and support you, and one way is by being your eyes and ears on the ground. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to keep our city safe and healthy.

Yours truly,

Kavita Vinod Khanna

The author is a public policy influencer who graduated from London School of Economics. Kavita worked with PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s office for three years on the issue of labour law reform, and recently served a term on the National Executive of the BJP. Views are personal.

(Edited by Prashant Dixit)

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8 COMMENTS

  1. It is this kind of virtue signaling that has resulted in the whole mess of the COVID situation in the country. Restrictions may be necessary, but when they become excessive and illogical, there is no way that the state has the capacity to implement them. Multiple research has shown that the probability of getting infected in open spaces, with sufficient social distancing, is very very low. The pandemic has become a way for the state to grab and project power, impinge upon the liberties of the people, and for such “influencers”, who can afford to sit at homes with unimpacted incomes, to shower mere mortals with their advice and criticism.

  2. Someone think about what will happen in bengal and other states with upcoming elections. The rally’s and roadshows show people are neither following social distancing nor wearing masks!! Grave days lie ahead. Look at what is happening in Raipur. Rules for general public only the elite class goes for election rallies doesn’t give a damn about the voters !

  3. please write to modi to refund losses of demonetisation and crushin lockdown last year ,then we can discuss ,ok,Namaste,

  4. Good point made in article. However, wearing mask is a necessary but not sufficient condition for controlling Covid outbreak. The issue is far more complex than what is assumed by the author. Let us not worry about high bro communities in places like Malabar Hill. Think of lakhs of ordinary Mumbaikars who are required to commute by trains and buses in order to earn their livelihood. They are daily exposed to risks of infection. What is the solution here? What bout millions who are likely to lose their livelihood due to strict lockdown regulations?

  5. This lady is part of this Covid lockdowns and mask scams. Can she explain how people under lockdowns and masks (in EU) are running up high case numbers? Will she talk about Sweden and Malawi where no lockdowns and no draconian measures were allowed? No, because she is intellectual fool. Such scamsters should be kept at bay and locked inside their houses.

  6. You can file an FIR with the local police under suitable law sections – including intent to murder and mass genocide (because covid spread can cause death).

    Keep your mobile phone on or use a pair of goggles (or a pen) with spy cam attached for capturing evidence.

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