Penalty for not wearing mask in public in Delhi raised from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000

Penalty for not wearing mask in public in Delhi raised from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that the penalty for not wearing masks in public places will be increased from Rs500 to Rs2,000 in light of the severe spike in Covid-19 cases in the capital.

Kejriwal also said that the government has issued directions to all private hospitals to reserve 80% of their ICU beds and 60% of non-ICU beds for Covid-19 patients and postpone dates of non-critical surgeries.

“I met the lieutenant governer today [thursday] and briefed him about the Covid-19 situation. We have agreed that a lot of people don’t wear masks so the penalty for not wearing masks will be increased from Rs500 to Rs2,000. I appeal to social, religious and political organisations to distribute masks and urge people to wear masks. Masks are a major saviour against Covid-19,” said Kejriwal in a video press briefing, after convening an all-party meeting with political leaders to discuss the Covid-19 situation.

A notification in this regard will soon be issued, said a government official. The police and the government’s revenue department are the enforcement agencies which can prosecute individuals for not wearing masks in public places.

The chief minister said that at the all-party meeting on Thursday, he urged political leaders to join hands in the fight against Covid-19 and direct their volunteers to distribute masks across the city.

“Today, 7,461 non-ICU beds and 446 ICU beds available across Delhi. Recently, the Supreme Court allowed the Delhi government to issue directions to reserve 80% ICU beds in 33 private hospitals for Covid-19 patients. This direction would now apply to all private hospitals. Also, till now, private hospitals had to reserve 50% non-ICU beds for Covid-19 patients. That would be increased to 60% for now. And, hospitals have been asked to postpone all non-critical surgeries that have been scheduled,” said Kejriwal.

Similar directions were issued in May and June as well, when the city had witnessed the first sharp rise in Covid-19 cases but later some of them were relaxed when the cases went down.

The chief minister appreciated the role of healthcare professionals in Delhi during the pandemic and urged people to celebrate Chhath Puja at home this year.

“There have been arguments regarding Chhath Puja in the past few days. We want people get to celebrate Chhath Puja in Delhi, but this year there is a pandemic and there is an immense amount of health risk. Imagine how much transmission can happen at the Chhath ghats where people take dips in water bodies. Water can make the transmission worse. The prohibition this year is only in public places. Let’s celebrate Chhath Puja in our residences this year. Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana too have imposed such prohibitions,” said Kejriwal.


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