Delhi govt makes masks mandatory again; schools to remain open

Delhi govt makes masks mandatory again; schools to remain open

In view of a spurt in coronavirus cases in the city, the Delhi government on Wednesday (April 20) made wearing of masks mandatory in public places and imposed a fine of ₹500 on violators.

This comes after several districts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have made wearing masks mandatory in the wake of a surge in the number of cases. This decision to bring back the penalty was taken at a meeting on Wednesday of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which is overseeing the capital’s fight against the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Delhi recorded a nearly 26 per cent jump in fresh COVID-19 cases. The health department said 632 fresh cases were reported on Wednesday and the positivity rate was 4.42 per cent. However, there has been no death.

The city had on Monday recorded 501 cases and zero death while the positivity rate stood at 7.72 per cent.

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Officials said the DDMA, in its meeting, also decided not to shut schools, but chose to come up with a separate Standard Operating Procedure in consultation with experts. The government is expected to issue an official order regarding the mandatory use of masks soon.

Sources told PTI that authorities have been asked to keep a close watch on social gatherings and ramp up testing in the national capital. They said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is closely monitoring the situation.

Doctors have said COVID cases are expected to surge in the coming days. About three weeks ago, the DDMA had issued an order removing the ₹500 fine for not wearing masks in public, after COVID cases fell. Masks were no longer compulsory but the DDMA still had advised people to continue using them in crowded places.

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