HYDERABAD: In the wake of reports that Omicron, the fast-spreading variant of Coronavirus has entered India, Telangana reimposed the mask rule with immediate effect. According to State Director of Public Health, Dr G Srinivasa Rao, a Rs 1,000 fine will be slapped on those who do not wear appropriate mask.
“Telangana Health Department has requested the enforcement authorities to watch out for those who do not wear masks. Imposition of fine of Rs 1,000 on those who do not wear masks is already in force. It is not a new order,” the DPH said on Thursday.
He also said that from now on, when a person visits public places he or she has to carry their double vaccination certificates, which will be randomly checked by health staff.
“We request people to carry their Covid vaccine certificates. The State health teams will visit public places and will randomly ask people to show vaccine certificates. This is a cautionary measure and it will also create awareness about the importance of vaccination. Our agenda is to safeguard the health and lives of people,” he said.
The Health Department’s move comes in the wake of vaccine reluctance and complacency over second dose observed in the last few months. Currently, just 47% of the State’s adult population is fully vaccinated and 90% with single dose. In Hyderabad, 90,000 individuals are yet take their second dose while statewide that number is around 25 lakhs. While urging the citizens not to be lax, the DPH said: “We have set December 31 as the deadline to achieve 100% vaccinations in the State.”
Slight spike in cases
Meanwhile, as fears around Omicron rise, Telangana has been witnessing a slight uptick in new Covid cases. In cold weather conditions, viruses tend to thrive. Moreover, we have been observing more outbreaks in schools. We are routinely sending sample forms to schools for genome sequencing as well,” Dr Rao added.