COVID-19: Bengaluru drops its guard, dumps masks 

BBMP chief marshal officer says most violations in low-income areas, marshals carrying out awareness drives

Published: 19th July 2021 03:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2021 03:54 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

BENGALURU: When Karnataka entered Unlock 2.0 and Unlock 3.0, cases of mask violations and social distancing increased, with marshals fining more people -- from over 200 people booked for mask violations during the lockdown period, the number has increased to 900 plus cases a day.

During Unlock 2.0 (June 21- July 5), public transport was allowed with 50 per cent capacity, so also dine-in hotels and clubs, and gyms, lodges and resorts were opened in 16 districts, including Bengaluru. During Unlock 3.0 (July 5 - July 19), malls were opened and marriages allowed with 100 people in attendance. With people starting to move about during this period, and workplaces opening up, the number of violations of Covid-appropriate behaviour has increased.

As per BBMP data, between June 14 and 21, lockdown norms in Bengaluru were slightly eased, with the positivity rate dropping. During this period, mask violations ranged between 106 and 191 cases a day. However, from June 21 to July 5, cases increased from 242 to 996. From July 6- 17, around 800-900 people were fined for mask violations.

Under violation of social distancing, the number of people fined was 15-16 in a day. In the past two weeks, the number has gone beyond 30 in a day.

Col Rajbir Singh, chief marshal officer, BBMP, said, “The number during the unlock phases has definitely gone up. On an average, we are fining 800-1000 people for mask violations. People are not following appropriate behaviour. However, compared to the initial phases of Covid, people are masking up properly, though some still don’t fall in line. We are seeing an increase in the number of violations of social distancing. There is crowding near eateries or in markets and malls, and we are keeping a watch.”

He added that most violations are seen in the low-income areas, and marshals are carrying out awareness drives and distributing free masks in these places. As on July 17, the number of mask violations was highest in East, West and South zones -- 187 people paid Rs 46,750 in East Zone, 220 people were Rs 55,000 in West Zone, and 146 people in South Zone paid up Rs 36,500.

In the past 14 days -- from July 4 to 17 -- the number of mask violation cases stands at 12,482, with the total amount collected at Rs 31.2 lakh, and 595 cases of social distancing violation, with Rs 14.87 lakh collected. A BBMP marshal said, on condition of anonymity, “People who move or stand in groups in some market areas, don’t want to listen to us even if we try to educate them.”


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