Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mumbai civic body has caught over 15 lakh people without face masks at public places in the city since April last year and collected more than Rs 30 crore as fine from them, officials said on Wednesday. Out of these offenders, 13,008 were caught on Monday and a fine of Rs 26,01,600 was collected from them, a Brihnamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.

Concerned over the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked citizens to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and social distancing or be prepared to face another round of lockdown.

The BMC has been imposing a fine of Rs 200 for not wearing a face mask in public places.

From April 1, 2020 to February 15 this year, the BMC caught 15,16,398 people without face masks and collected a total of Rs 30,69,09,800 from them, civic officials said.

As per the BMC data, the highest number of 1,08,069 people were caught without face masks in Mumbai's K-West ward, which includes areas like Juhu, Andheri (West) and Versova.

Besides, the lowest number of 25,847 offenders were found in M-East ward, which comprises Anushakti Nagar, Deonar, Cheetah Camp and Shivaji Nagar areas.

The BMC has repeatedly appealed to citizens to follow all Covid-19 protocols, including wearing of face mask, maintaining social distance and sanitising hands regularly.

Of late, the city has been witnessing a spike in daily Covid-19 cases, and some civic wards have issued letters to housing societies under their jurisdiction and instructed them to follow the Covid-19 guidelines, a civic official said.

"At present, the M-west ward is reporting highest daily cases, which is a matter of concern, and there are chances that we might have to impose local lockdown measures," said a notice issued to a society in the M-West ward.

The notice further said sealing of buildings/ societies having high prevalence of positivity has been started in the ward.

"If the same is observed in your society, the same restrictions with sealing can be imposed in your society," the notice warned.

In the notice, the civic body also instructed housing societies to restrict the entry of outsiders to minimum, including domestic helps and milk delivery persons.

It asked the housing societies take measures like thermal screening and if a positive case is found, then the family members should follow strict quarantine guidelines for 14 days and get tested compulsorily.

Any other symptomatic person in the society should also get checked for the coronavirus infection, it added.