COVID-19 in India: States where wearing masks are mandatory again
In the wake of the fresh surge in COVID-19 cases in India, several states and union territories have reimposed stricter norms to control the spread, including mandating face masks. They include Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, among others. Meanwhile, the Centre also advised states/UTs to remain alert and monitor the COVID-19 situation. Take a look at states/UTs where masks are mandatory once again.
Why does this story matter?
Recently, India has registered a massive rise in daily COVID-19 cases. On Thursday, the country reported 2,380 new coronavirus infections and 56 deaths in the last 24 hours. This marked a rise of 15% in daily cases reported on Wednesday. Alarmingly, Delhi accounted for nearly half of these cases as it logged 1,009 fresh cases in the same period—a 60% jump compared to Tuesday.
Masks must in Punjab; Delhi government reimposed fine too
Punjab and Delhi have once again made wearing of masks mandatory in public places. A Punjab government order said wearing masks is now compulsory in cinema halls, shopping malls, departmental stores, classrooms, offices, indoor gatherings, and on public transport, too. Meanwhile, apart from mandating face marks, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has reimposed the Rs. 500 penalty for violators.
Haryana made masks mandatory in NCR districts
As per officials, face masks are now mandatory in four NCR districts of Haryana: Gurugram, Faridabad, Sonepat, and Jhajjar. In addition, Haryana had also announced that individuals who violate the mask mandate would be fined. Moreover, masks are now a must in Chandigarh's public places, according to the UT's authorities. To recall, the UT made masks optional for the public a few weeks ago.
Wearing masks compulsory in UP's 6 NCR districts, Lucknow
Earlier on Monday, Uttar Pradesh's government made masks mandatory in six National Capital Region (NCR) districts and Lucknow as cases in neighboring Delhi witnessed a surge. These included Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, and Baghpat. Unlike other states, West Bengal didn't lift its mask mandate earlier. Though it relaxed some restrictions before, people are still required to wear masks in public spaces.
Centre wrote to 5 states over rising COVID-19 cases
Meanwhile, the Centre on Tuesday wrote to five states—Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Mizoram—concerned over rising COVID-19 cases and increasing positivity rates there. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had asked the states to monitor clusters, increase genome sequencing, and keep a watch on the pandemic situation. Bhushan also directed them to monitor influenza-like symptoms regularly for early detection of the virus's spread.