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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Mumbai News Highlights: Covid cases rising, Maharashtra govt imposes night curfew; schools shut till Feb 15

Mumbai COVID-19 Active Cases Today, Maharashtra, Mumbai Omicron Cases Latest News, Mumbai Travel Guidelines News, 8 Jan: Mumbai reported 20,318 new covid cases and five deaths on Saturday, whereas Maharashtra recorded 41,434 new Covid cases and 13 deaths on Saturday.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: January 9, 2022 10:10:18 am
A BMC health worker collects swab sample of an outstation passenger for Covid-19 test at Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj terminus in Mumbai, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (PTI)

Mumbai Highlights: Maharashtra government has announced new Covid curbs amid rising cases in the state. The government has imposed a night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am and no movement will be allowed within this time except for essential purposes. The government has barred the movement of people in groups of five or more.

The maximum number of people allowed in marriages or social and other gatherings are 50, whereas the maximum number of people allowed to attend funerals are 20. Swimming pools, gyms, spas, parks, zoos, museums and forts are to remain shut. Schools are to remain closed until February 15, 2022. Shopping malls and markets complexes are to operate at a 50 per cent capacity and to remain shut between 10 pm to 8 am. Restaurants are also supposed to function at 50 per cent capacity and only allow fully vaccinated persons.

Mumbai reported 20,318 new covid cases and five deaths on Saturday. The active cases as of Saturday evening are 1,06,037. The total number of asymptomatic patients were 82 per cent and the bed occupancy stood at 21.4 per cent on Saturday. Maharashtra recorded 41,434 new Covid cases and 13 deaths. A total of 9,671 recovered on Saturday and the active cases in the state are 1,73,238.

Also, amid a surge in daily Covid-19 cases in Mumbai and a day after the Union Ministry of Health cut the isolation period for patients in home isolation to seven days, the BMC on Thursday released new home isolation guidelines for asymptomatic and mild cases.

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Mumbai News Highlights: Mumbai reports 20,181 new Covid cases, positivity rate at 31.7%; BMC issues home isolation norms for asymptomatic & mild cases; As Covid numbers rise, health dept directs BMC to ramp up testing; Follow live updates

20:26 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Maharashtra government announce new Covid restrictions

Maharashtra government has announced new Covid curbs amid rising cases in the state. The government has imposed a night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am and no movement will be allowed within this time except for essential purposes. 

The maximum number of people allowed in marriages or social and other gatherings are 50, whereas the maximum number of people allowed to attend funerals are 20. 

Swimming pools, gyms, spas, parks, zoos, museums and forts are to remain shut. Schools are to remain closed until February 15, 2022. 

Shopping malls and markets complexes are to operate at a 50 per cent capacity and to remain shut between 10 pm to 8 am. Restaurants are also supposed to function at 50 per cent capacity and only allow fully vaccinate persons. 

16:51 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Dreaded gangster Uday Pathak sends extortion letter by post, booked

Dreaded gangster, Uday Pathak, 52, infamous for the Kurar quadruple murders in 2011 for which he continues to stay in prison as an undertrial, has been booked for extorting and threatening to kill an imitation jeweler from Kurar in Malad (east). Incidentally, Pathak was arrested in 2020 along with his aides for conspiring a firing at the same jeweler’s shop. Back then he was also booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA). Pathak has 15 crime cases against him including atleast four cases in the last 10 years which include murder, attempt to murder and extortion.

On Thursday, the 53-year-old complainant approached the Kurar police station alleging a postman dropped an envelope at his imitation jewelry shop when he was working there with his son. The letter stated that Uday Pathak, Rahul Mantri, Vicki Pise are angry with him as he did not pay them Rs 1 crore extortion money in 2020. The letter asked him to meet Pathak and pay up Rs 1 crore failing which he will be bumped off.

16:49 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Mural by transwomen paints Mumbai’s Love Grove sewage plant site in new light

Love Grove in Worli is all kinds of beguiling. Once a scenic vantage point coveted by honeymooners to view the rolling hills around the city, the spot is the site of a big stink today. It is home to major sewage treatment plants — a crucial element in any polluting megacity — but the loss of its romantic connotations has been lamented over for decades now.

In April 2021, Love Grove got a makeover as a vibrant street art site. Members of the Aravani Art Project painted a mural along the compound wall that stretches out on Dr Annie Besant Road. It’s a sight for sore eyes and tired minds that wait at the traffic intersection.

The Aravani Art Project is a collective of women and transwomen involved in collaborative public art projects across India. Like their other murals, the project in Love Grove is a series of portraits of people who frequent the area. Sadhna Prasad, co-founder of Aravani Art Project, describes the mural as showing “the everyday of the place”. They were invited by public art platform St+Art India, which arranged the logistics, paints and permissions for the mural.

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13:20 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Death threats: BJP’s Shelar writes to Maharashtra Home Minister, party seeks probe

BJP MLA Ashish Shelar on Saturday wrote to Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil complaining against the death threats he has been receiving from an unknown caller over the past two days.

In the letter, Shelar wrote, “Some unknown person has been issuing threats to kill me and my entire family. He has been hurling abuses,” adding that the stranger was repeatedly calling them even during odd hours. The BJP leader also shared two telephone numbers from which the calls were made. Shelar had written to the Mumbai Police Commissioner in this regard on Friday.

Describing the development as a cause of concern, BJP leaders in the state have sought a probe into the matter. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis said, “When a sitting MLA receives such abusive calls threatening to cause harm to him and his family it is indeed a very serious matter. The Home Ministry must look into it and book the culprits.”

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12:05 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Maharashtra: Govt, bureaucracy divided over imposing more curbs

In spite of a spurt in Covid-19 cases across Maharashtra, the state government is treading a cautious path over imposing fresh restrictions. While active cases have seen an exponential growth over the last few days, the state has not issued any restrictions due to difference of opinion within the government, said sources.

While a section in the government and bureaucracy is in favour of imposing further restrictions, another section has opposed it, countering that it will have a severe impact on the business and industries, sources said.

12:00 (IST)08 Jan 2022
As Covid cases rise, Mumbai roads wear deserted look

The spike in Covid numbers in the city saw a substantial drop in vehicular traffic all over Mumbai on Friday. Vehicular traffic was thinner than usual, confirmed Raj Vardhan Sinha, joint commissioner of police, traffic, Mumbai Police. “There is a drop of 20 to 25 % in vehicular traffic in Bandra (west) on S V Road and Link Road,” said Vishal Khaire, senior inspector of Bandra Traffic division.

Peddar Road wore a similar look. Sagar Lad, a tennis coach and Marine Lines resident, said, “There was absolutely no traffic this evening while I was returning home from Worli. A cab ride usually takes 40 minutes in the evening peak hours but today, I reached home in 20 minutes.”

11:57 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Writer, activist Gerson da Cunha passes away

Gerson da Cunha died

Noted theatre artist, writer and activist Gerson da Cunha passed away on Friday noon following a cardiac arrest. Da Cunha was 92 years old. Through his work spanning decades, first as an ad man and later as an activist, he came to be closely connected with Mumbai’s cultural landscape and civic issues.

Friends and associates remember da Cunha as a stalwart from a generation that was integral to the cosmopolitan life of post-Independent Bombay, keen on ensuring a flourishing of literature, fine art and theatre.

Da Cunha was born in Mumbai in 1929 and grew up in Mazgaon. Graduating in science, da Cunha first worked as a journalist at PTI Reuters and then moved to advertising, where he remained for 25 years. He was CEO of ad agency Lintas from 1955 to 1980.

11:43 (IST)08 Jan 2022
BMC issues instructions to nodal officers over 'precaution' dose

The Mumbai civic body on Thursday issued detailed instructions to its nodal officers for giving 'precaution' or booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare professionals, frontline workers and senior citizens above 60 and with comorbidities from January 10 and said their inoculation will be free at government and corporation-run centres. In an internal circular, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated that health workers, frontline staffers and people above 60 with comorbidities will be eligible for 'precaution' dose if they have completed nine months, or 39 weeks, from the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

The civic body said for taking the booster dose, eligible persons can either register online or walk in to vaccination centres. Presently, over 400 vaccination centres, including in private hospitals, are active in Mumbai. Till January 5, more than 1.80 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to people in Mumbai.

11:41 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Cop arrested for sexually harassing woman in Mumbai

A 32-year-old policeman has been arrested on the alleged charges of sexually harassing a woman, in central Mumbai, an official said on Friday. Based on a complaint lodged by a woman with the Bhoiwada police, constable Akshay Chougule, a resident of BDD Chawl, was placed under arrest on Wednesday, the official said. 

11:37 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Sudha Bharadwaj allowed to live in Thane

Lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, booked in the Elgaar Parishad case, has been allowed to reside in Thane, following a plea she moved before the trial court recently.

Among the jail conditions set for Bharadwaj by the trial court was that she could not reside outside the jurisdiction of the court, which is Mumbai city. Bharadwaj had sought permission to shift to a friend’s residence in Thane since accommodation in Mumbai is expensive.

An affidavit was submitted by Bharadwaj’s friend in court, following which special judge Dinesh E Kothalikar on Thursday granted her plea seeking permission to stay in Thane instead of Mumbai. The court directed her to report to the local police station in Thane, as part of her bail conditions. It also said that the investigating agency, NIA, is at liberty to verify the address.

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10:07 (IST)08 Jan 2022
Dharavi sees highest daily tally, braces for more Covid blows

Dharavi, Asia’s biggest slum, which was praised for its Covid management in the second wave, is now battling a third round. On Friday, it reported 150 cases, its highest single-day surge since the beginning of the pandemic. The peak before this was 99, in April 2021.

Officials are wary about the fast-rising numbers, believed to be driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, in an area that, at 66,000 people per sq km, is twice as densely populated as Mumbai (the fifth-most densely populated city in the world). The slum as of Friday had 588 active cases, of whom 147 were hospitalised.

09:55 (IST)08 Jan 2022
No lockdown needed in Mumbai despite surge in cases: municipal commissioner

There is no immediate need for imposing lockdown or additional restrictions in Mumbai as the bed occupancy rate, oxygen requirement and number of COVID-19 deaths are low, municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal said on Friday. During the first and second wave the decision to impose lockdown was taken on the basis of case positivity rate, but this criterion cannot be applied for the third wave which started from December 21, 2021, Chahal told a Marathi news channel.

No further restrictions were needed to be imposed on travel by local trains as only fully vaccinated people are being allowed to board the trains, he said. "The criterion in the first and second wave was the positivity rate. But in this wave of Omicron variant of the virus, two new criteria should be occupancy of hospital beds and oxygen requirement," Chahal said. 

09:52 (IST)08 Jan 2022
NHRC expresses concern over living conditions of Mumbai slum dwellers

The National Human Rights Commission has expressed concern over the living conditions of slum dwellers in Mumbai and sought a "comprehensive report" from the Centre, officials said on Friday. In a statement, the NHRC said that acting on a complaint in this connection, it had issued notices to the government of Maharashtra and the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs seeking their responses.

The Government of Maharashtra responded, through its chief secretary, that several efforts have been made and schemes formulated to provide dwelling units to the slum dwellers for economically weaker sections with the state and central assistance under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna-Urban (PMAY-U). Shortage of funds has been cited as a constraint, it said

20:11 (IST)07 Jan 2022
Mumbai reports 20,971 new Covid cases, six deaths

Mumbai reported 20,971 new covid cases and six deaths on Friday. 84 per cent of those who tested positive were asymptomatic. The city saw 8,490 patients being recovered from the virus. The active cases as of Friday evening are 91,731.

17:11 (IST)07 Jan 2022
Extortion case: Bombay HC quashes absconder tag on Param Bir’s co-accused Riyaz Bhati

The Bombay High Court on Friday set aside a proclamation that Riyaz Bhati, an accused along with former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh and others in an extortion case, is an absconder.

A single-judge bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere quashed the proclamation while hearing a petition filed by Bhati, who stated that a co-accused also declared as absconding–Vinay Singh–had already been relieved of the absconder tag by the High Court on December 1.

16:38 (IST)07 Jan 2022
Infrastructure block to affect train services between Thane and Kalva

The Central Railway will operate 36 hours of infrastructure block starting 2 pm Saturday till 2am Monday on the Up and Down slow lines between Thane and Kalva stations to complete the work on the fifth and sixth lines between Thane and Diva.

The block will result in cancellation of Suburban train services at Kalva, Mumbra, Kopar and Thakurli railway stations.

The railways also advised commuters boarding from Kalva, Mumbra, Kopar and Thakurli stations to board trains from Thane, Diva, Dombivali and Kalyan stations, respectively.

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16:26 (IST)07 Jan 2022
Two men booked for spreading ISIS ideology sentenced to eight years of imprisonment

Two men, booked for propagating ISIS ideology in 2015, who had pleaded guilty, were sentenced to imprisonment for eight years by special court. Rizwan Ahmed has spent 6 years and Mohsin Sayed has spent 5.5 years in jail already.

16:24 (IST)07 Jan 2022
Two Bulli bai app case accused remanded to police custody

The two accused, Shweta Singh 18 and Mayank Rawat 21, arrested in the Bullibai app case by Mumbai Crime Branch's cyber police were produced before Bandra magistrate court on Friday and remanded to police custody till Monday. The duo was arrested from Uttarakhand for posting obscene content from the Bulli bai app on their Twitter handles.

Vishal Jha, 21, the first accused arrested in the case is also in police custody till Monday.

15:29 (IST)07 Jan 2022
Sudha Bharadwaj allowed to live in Thane

Lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, booked in the Elgaar Parishad case, has been allowed to reside in Thane, following a plea she moved before the trial court recently.

Among the jail conditions set for Bharadwaj by the trial court was that she could not reside outside the jurisdiction of the court, which is Mumbai city. Bharadwaj had sought permission to shift to a friend’s residence in Thane since accommodation in Mumbai is expensive.

An affidavit was submitted by Bharadwaj’s friend in court, following which special judge Dinesh E Kothalikar on Thursday granted her plea seeking permission to stay in Thane instead of Mumbai. The court directed her to report to the local police station in Thane, as part of her bail conditions. It also said that the investigating agency, NIA, is at liberty to verify the address.

13:54 (IST)07 Jan 2022
Elgaar Parishad case: Varavara Rao’s bail extended till Feb 5

The Bombay High Court on Friday extended Elgaar Parishad case accused Varavara Rao’s bail till February 5. The octogenarian had been granted medical bail for six months on February 22 last year and was later allowed to extend it till January 7, 2022.

On Friday, the matter was listed before a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N R Borkar. “You know that the third wave, experts say, may survive for 50-60 days. Front Line Workers (FLWs) and police personnel are testing positive for Covid-19. The figures were not the same as the first or second wave. Is it possible that in such a wave he (Rao) should be sent to jail? We will hear you on merits. Give us some breathing space,” Justice Shinde orally remarked.

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At a Covid-19 center at Vashi Exhibition Complex in Mumbai.

Maharashtra State Women Commission chairperson Rupali Chakankar on Thursday wrote to state home department seeking action against BJP social media cell coordinator Jiten Gajaria for posting objectionable tweets about Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Rashmi Thackeray.

The commission took suo motu cognizance of the matter. Chakankar said, “I have written to the home department. We have demanded strict action against Jiten Gajaria.” “The commission will not tolerate any objectionable posts against any woman. We will pursue the matter till those indulging in such acts are punished,” she said.

READ | Maharashtra women’s commission seeks action against BJP social media cell member

In a bid to bring its tax structure at par with competing states and secure its revenues, the Maharashtra government is mulling to waive the stamp duty on the import of gold and silver in the state.

While Maharashtra levies a 0.1 per cent stamp duty on gold imported by air, sources said that the import of gold has been shifting to other states, as they don’t impose stamp duty. As this arbitrage resulted in decline of gold imports within the state, sources said that the government has been losing hundreds of crores in goods and services tax (GST) on import of gold. They further said that the waiver of stamp duty on gold could increase state revenue.

READ | Maharashtra govt plans to waive stamp duty on gold, silver import

Lawyer Surendra Gadling, arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, on Wednesday told the court that he was not being referred to for a medical examination by the jail authorities despite a court order. Gadling also sought that CCTV footage of the Taloja Central Prison, where he is lodged, be preserved.

Following this, Special Judge Dinesh E Kothalikar directed the jail superintendent to preserve the CCTV footage and provide clone copies of the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to Gadling.

READ | Elgaar Parishad case: Gadling says Taloja jail not referring him for check-up, seeks CCTV footage

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