Manish Sisodia urges people to wear mask, warns violators as Covid-19 cases surge

Deputy chief minister on Saturday Manish Sisodia urged people to wear masks to protect themselves and others from Covid-19 and asserted that the government would crack down upon violators, as hiked fines for flouting mask and distancing norms in the Capital came into effect.

On Day 1 of the increased penalties, Delhi Police personnel said they had issued fines of Rs 2,000 to at least 1,306 people for not wearing masks, while 51 others were fined for flouting distancing norms.

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The government had on Friday issued a notification increasing fines for breaking these Covid-19 norms from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 in the wake of the rising Covid-19 cases across the city, a hike which became effective on Saturday.

“Delhi government has taken every possible step to handle the Covid-19 situation with proper home isolation measures and by providing enough Covid-19 beds in hospitals. But, it’s important to prevent the spread of the disease. Until there is a reliable vaccine, it is important to follow Covid appropriate behaviour,” Sisodia said while participating in a mask distribution drive at his assembly constituency, Patparganj.

All ministers, MLAs, councillors and local leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday joined free distribution of masks in various parts of the city.

“While distributing masks, we told people about how important masks are in the fight against Covid-19. People should encourage others around them to wear masks. We also conducted an awareness campaign on social distancing. We have urged shop owners to keep spare masks for distribution,” said AAP’s Kalkaji MLA Atishi.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress volunteers have also distributed free masks across the city.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police additional spokesperson Anil Mittal on Saturday said, “Till 4pm on Saturday, 1,306 fines were issued for not wearing masks.”

Police teams across the city also distributed masks to people in crowded areas.

Deputy commissioner of police (central) Sanjay Bhatia said his teams distributed face masks at ITO and Karol Bagh. “People were also sensitised about the new norms and increased fine amount. Those who were caught violating the directives were fined while others were made aware,” Bhatia said.

Atul Thakur, deputy commissioner of police (south) said his teams patrolled areas like Saket, Malviya Nagar and Mehrauli to ensure the new order is complied with.

Together, the police and district administration have so far distributed more than 600,000 masks.

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