New Delhi: The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, has empowered the health department officials, district magistrates, sub-divisional magistrates, the officers authorized by them and the Delhi Police officers of the rank of sub-inspector and above, to impose fines in case of violations of the COVID norms notified by the Delhi government.
Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan are scheduled to meet Baijal and CM Arvind Kejriwal at 11 AM on Sunday, to discuss the increasing health crisis.
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Some people are seen roaming in the city without masks, or with masks hanging below their lips, despite the COVID situation turning serious in the capital.
Many people of Delhi seemed to be careless, in many crowded areas, regarding a simple measure that can prevent a possible infection by the novel coronavirus. For these people, the mask was supposed to be slung across the neck as some sort of a textile necklace. It appeared to be just a token gesture.
While interacting in close quarters with other people, some of them do not even care to cover their mouth with anything. Amidst all this, some daily wage-earners were using the same mask for two-three months because of financial reasons.
The LG approved the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, (Management of Covid-19) Regulations,2020. This was done on Saturday and it empowers the officials to collect penal fine on not wearing a mask in Delhi. This Act will be helpful for the officials in the enforcement of the observation of quarantine rules, the maintenance of social distancing, and other norms.
The LG’s office stated in a press release that the objective of the Act is to ensure that the guidelines issued to contain the spread of COVID will be followed in letter and spirit. A fine will be levied if there is non-observance of quarantine rules, non-maintenance of social distancing, not wearing a face mask in pubic and the consumption of paan, etc. in public places.
Rs 500 is the fine for the first offense and Rs 1,000 will be levied for the repeated offense. The LG order stated that if any person fails to pay the fine on the spot, the action shall be taken under Section 188 IPC against the offender by the police officer on a receipt of the complaint from any authorized officer or on his own.
Delhi reported 2,137 new cases on Friday, thereby taking the total number of cases to 36,824. Out of this, 13,398 people have recovered until now.
A new high-level expert committee was formed by Baijal on Friday, which included a member from the Indian Council of Medical Research to help in the management of the coronavirus cases in the Capital. This formation of an expert panel came on the same day as the Supreme court pulled up the Delhi government for its management of the situation.
The move also came a day after how the resident welfare associations and traders were disappointed with the government’s announcement of the non-extension of the lockdown in Delhi.
The rule to collect fine on not wearing a mask is valid for a period of one year.