Coronavirus: Not wearing masks, spitting in public to attract fines in Delhi as cases rise
Repeat offenders will have to pay Rs 1,000 as fine.
Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Saturday approved a new set of rules, making violation of safety and physical distancing measures in the Capital punishable with fines. The new rules came amid a sharp increase in the Capital’s coronavirus cases. Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will meet Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at 11 am on Sunday, to discuss the escalating health crisis.
According to a statement issued by Baijal’s office, a fine of Rs 500 will be imposed on residents for not maintaining physical distancing, not wearing face masks in public and at workplaces and spitting and consuming tobacco in public places. Repeat offenders will have to pay Rs 1,000 as fine. “In case of failure to pay spot penalty, action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code [disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant] shall be taken against offender by the authorised police officer,” Baijal’s office said.
Delhi reported 2,134 coronavirus cases and 57 deaths on Saturday. The Capital’s overall count rose to 38,958 and the toll reached 1,271.
On Friday, Baijal had formed a new high-level expert committee, including a member from the Indian Council of Medical Research to help manage the Capital’s coronavirus crisis. The formation of the expert panel came on the same day the Supreme Court pulled up the Delhi government for the way it was managing the situation.
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Delhi is struggling with crippling health infrastructure deficiencies as it also battles a spurt in the number of coronavirus cases. Kejriwal had last week announced his decision to reserve beds at Delhi government’s hospitals only for the Capital’s residents but Baijal passed a new order overriding his directions.
The Kejriwal-led government has also been criticised for not conducting enough coronavirus tests. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said that ICMR should update its strategy to allow testing for all people, according to The Times of India.
On Sunday morning, India reported 11,458 new coronavirus cases and 386 more fatalities, according to the Union health ministry. The overall count rose to 3,08,993, and the toll reached 8,884. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with the chief ministers of all the states over video conference on June 16 and 17 as cases continue to increase at an alarming rate.