Wearing masks in public places has been made mandatory again in amid a rise in Covid-19 cases across the country and the state, the state government announced on Wednesday, reported PTI.

On Tuesday, the state reported 341 coronavirus infections and 36 deaths, up by 86 from 255 cases recorded a day ago, data on Kerala Directorate of Health Services showed. With this, the overall infection count in the state climbed to 65,40,318 and the toll rose to 68,952 since the pandemic broke out in the country in January 2020.

In its order, Chief Secretary of Kerala VP Joy said that those found violating the mask mandate will be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act and other relevant laws.

Joy said that the state government on April 7 had revoked all the Covid-19 restrictions related to containment activities in the state imposed under the Disaster Management Act 2005.

“However, after analysing the present coronavirus scenario, wearing of masks in all public places, gatherings, workplaces is made compulsory in the state now,” the order said.

The state fined Rs 500 for not wearing mask before the mandate was revoked.

In view of rising Covid-19 cases in the country, several states and Union Territories, including Delhi, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, have made wearing masks mandatory again.

According to the Union Health Ministry data on Wednesday, India recorded 2,927 new infections in a day, pushing the case tally to 4,30,65,496. The active caseload stood at 16,279.