23rd November 2020
Police officer capturing a picture of a man who is not wearing the mask the right way (Source: The Indian Express)
Arvind Kejriwal, the capital city’s Chief Minister, said on Thursday that the penalty or fine for not wearing masks in public places has been increased to INR 2000, the former fine being INR 500. This decision was made with respect to the severe and sudden spike in the Covid-19 cases in the city due to the careless attitude of the citizens about not wearing a mask.
After handling the situation well with a decreased number of cases till September, the capital had to wrestle with the surge that crossed the 8000-mark of a single day-rise in Covid cases. The Centre had to take immediate action and therefore has increased the number of beds for COVID-19 patients in both private as well as government hospitals.
The number of non-ICU beds for COVID-19 patients in private hospitals will be increased from 50 per cent to 60 per cent. The CM also announced that instructions have been issued to all private hospitals in the city, asking them to reserve 80 per cent of their ICU beds and 60 per cent of their Non-ICU beds for the COVID-19 patients and to delay the dates of upcoming non-critical surgeries.
According to The Hindu, Kejriwal said that the arrangements are being made for over 14,000 ICU beds, which include 663 in the government hospitals and 750 at Centre-run facilities.
The CM, who declined the plea for a new phase of lockdown, has decided to shut down overcrowded markets like Sadar Bazar, Chandini Chowk market in Old Delhi, etc. as they serve as vital hotspots for coronavirus.
Kejriwal also eliminated the traditional dip in the Yamuna during the festival of Chhath Puja. “According to experts if 200 people enter a pond and even if one person is infected with the virus then all those who are in the water will 100% get the virus,” said Kejriwal. He further added that he or the government is not entirely against the idea of celebrating the festival and that these measures were only for the safety and benefit of the citizens. He asked people to respect what the healthcare experts in Delhi are saying during the pandemic and advised people to celebrate Chhath Puja at home this year, just like all the other festivals.
“I appeal to social, religious and political organisations to distribute masks and urge people to wear masks. Masks are a major saviour against Covid-19,” said Kejriwal in an online press briefing, after summoning an all-party meeting with the political leaders to discuss the situation of the virus in the city. The police and the government’s revenue department are the enforcement agencies which can fine the citizens for not following the issued and guidelines by not wearing masks in public places.
The Chief Minister also acknowledged the work done by doctors and all the health care workers to ensure that there are less demises in the city and said that in comparison to other major cities across the world that have experienced a peak in Covid-19 cases, the situation in Delhi is very much under control.
(Sources: Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Times of India, DNA)
Edited by: Suditi Jha