RANCHI: Putting a brave face amid the Covid pandemic, the Jharkhand Police is all geared up to enforce stricter lockdown provisions and has collected over Rs 35 lakh as fine from people for not wearing masks in public places.
This is when about 12 per cent of the force were afflicted with the virus in line of duty and separate isolation centres have been created in all police lines and other establishments.
"Enforcing provisions for the safety of masses during the ongoing restrictions, the state police has collected Rs 35.68 lakh as fine from masses violating norms of wearing masks till May 11," Director General of Police Neeraj Sinha told PTI.
Sinha said action was taken against 42,714 people for not wearing masks during the period and 71 cases of violation were registered against them and the police force is all geared up to enforce stricter provisions under lockdown restrictions till May 27.
Fighting a massive second wave in Covid cases in the tribal state, men in khaki in Jharkhand are playing the role of COVID-19 warriors right from lending help to citizens to get oxygen and beds to enforcing restrictions to contain the deadly surge and maintaining law and order.
As many as 7,343 policemen out of about 60,000-strong police force have been afflicted with the virus in the line of duty and 30 of them lost their lives.
"Separate isolation centres have been created in all police lines and other establishments for asymptomatic positives and separate units for those police personnel who are returning from leave," the DGP said.
All those personnel returning from leave are being isolated, tested and if found negative, then only are they allowed to join the units, he said, adding that similar standard operating procedures are being followed in training centres.
A roster system has been adopted in all the establishments for working staff so as to avoid crowding and also to ensure social distancing norms in workplaces, Sinha said.
Accommodation facilities for all the forces engaged in law and order duty and in ensuring compliance of Covid- appropriate behaviour have been made, he added.
Of the total Rs 35.68 lakh fine collected for violating mask norms, a maximum of over Rs 5.92 lakh was collected from offenders in Jamshedpur, followed by over Rs 5.79 lakh from people in Chaibasa and over Rs 5.24 lakh from people in Dhanbad.
Ranchi, Saraikela and Palamu and Bokaro districts saw collection between Rs 1.75 lakh and Rs 3.08 lakh as fine from people not wearing masks, which has been made mandatory at public places.
Likewise of the 42,714 people against whom action was taken for violating mask norms, a maximum of 27,711 hailed from Bokaro followed by 8,344 from Palamu and 1,762 from Dumka.
Battling a sharp surge in COVID-19 cases, the state government has extended the lockdown-like restrictions with stricter provisions,including seven days mandatory quarantine for people visiting the state, till May 27.
The state has suspended operation of intra and inter- city bus services and also capped people attending weddings at 11, lower from earlier 50 persons with a provision that marriages can be conducted either at homes or at courts.
The state''s positive tally has climbed to 3,13,181 with 3,157 fresh cases while the death toll has reached 4,431.
The state could launch its 18 to 44 age group vaccination drive from May 14 owing to shortages of vaccines earlier.
The mortality rate in the state remained higher at 1.41 per cent as against the nation''s 1.10 per cent while the recovery rate from the deadly virus stood at 85.37 per cent against India''s 83.80 per cent.
The decision to impose lockdown-like restrictions with stricter provisions was taken at a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority, chaired by Chief Minister Hemant Soren to curb the further spread of the deadly virus.
The new restrictions include mandatory 7 days home or institutional quarantine for people visiting the state barring those who will leave the state within 72 hours.
Operations of inter-state and intra-state buses have been suspended while private vehicles will have to obtain e- passes for plying.
Organising any ceremony during weddings will also be prohibited in the state.
Under the stricter provisions, social distancing norms will be implemented strictly.
The state has already prohibited all indoor and outdoor congregations of more than five persons.