Freedom or fear? Govt drops fine for not wearing masks in public places
The Delhi government on Thursday issued an order withdrawing the Rs 500 fine for not wearing masks in public places in the national capital.
Published: 21st October 2022 07:36 AM | Last Updated: 21st October 2022 07:36 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Thursday issued an order withdrawing the Rs 500 fine for not wearing masks in public places in the national capital. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in a meeting last month decided to stop levying the penalty after September 30, amid a decline in Covid-19 cases.
The authority observed that the majority of the population has received vaccinations and that the positivity rate has decreased significantly. “And, whereas, the DDMA has decided that compulsory wearing of masks under the Epidemic Act may not be extended beyond September 30 and hence, a fine of Rs 500 for not wearing masks in public places would stand withdrawn after September 30,” stated DDMA.
However, the order advised people to wear masks in crowded public places. Earlier, even as an official order abolishing the mask mandate was awaited, several district authorities in Delhi had either stopped fining people Rs 500 or given relaxations.
The meeting, chaired by Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in attendance, had summarily agreed that though wearing of masks is important to maintain Covid-appropriate behaviour, the order of compulsory wearing of masks under the Epidemic Act may not be extended beyond September 30.
Naresh Kumar, Delhi’s chief secretary said that although things are pleasant right now, individuals should not let their guard down since new variants are constantly emerging. Niti Aayog member (health) Dr V K Paul had in the meeting emphasised that surveillance was still needed as the virus is still present, and its mutations and variants have emerged from time to time.