COVID-19: Delhi plans to bring back Rs. 500 no-mask fine
Following an increase in COVID-19 cases, Delhi's Health Department is reportedly planning to reintroduce penalties for violations of COVID-19-appropriate behavior. The Delhi administration may impose a fine of Rs. 500 for not wearing masks in public places and not following social distancing norms. A decision would be taken at the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday.
- Back on March 31, the DDMA decided to remove the fine for not wearing masks in public places.
- On March 30—a day before the decision was taken—Delhi's COVID-19 positivity rate was 0.49% with 113 new cases.
- However, the cases have risen exponentially in recent days with Delhi reporting 461 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday with a positivity rate of 5.33%, despite lower daily testing.
Following a meeting with chief district medical officers last week, Delhi's Health Department is mulling bringing back penalties for violating COVID-19-appropriate behavior. "Everyone present in the meeting agreed that the biggest reason behind the uptick in the positivity rate and the absolute number of fresh COVID-19 cases is a sudden dip in the number of people wearing masks in public," an official told TOI.
Meanwhile, all Delhi district health teams were instructed to increase daily testing. "The target is to conduct 25,000 tests every day," an official stated. The DDMA meeting chaired by Baijal will be held via video conferencing. It will be attended by CM Arvind Kejriwal, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, NITI Aayog Member VK Paul, AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria, and other senior officials and ministers.
The DDMA will hold its next meeting on Wednesday to assess Delhi's COVID-19 situation. The Health Department's presentation will be the first item on the agenda, after which an evaluation of the COVID-19 crisis and a review of the vaccination program will take place, the Times of India reported. Notably, Delhi's positivity rate increased by 25.95% in the last 24 hours, as per reports.