The surging cases of Covid-19 in Delhi has led the AAP government here to raise the fine for not wearing masks in public places to ₹2,000. The announcement was made on Thursday and even those who are without a mask in their private vehicles are liable to be fined.
Positive Covid-19 cases in Delhi have increased significantly this month with many blaming numerous factors, including onset of winter and rising pollution levels, for it. And while there have been some confusion in the past pertaining to whether one has to wear a mask even in their own vehicles, the Delhi government on Wednesday had told Delhi High Court that a private vehicle is considered public place. News agency ANI reported that the Delhi Government in its affidavit submitted that guidelines on wearing masks are 'clear cut' and that this implies to all 'public places', and a personal vehicle falls in the said category and cannot be said to be a "private zone' as contended by the petitioner in the instant case. (Full report here)
A day later, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference stated that the fine for not wearing a mask is being raised. "In Delhi, a large number of people are wearing masks but still some are not wearing them. A fine of ₹2,000 will be imposed on anyone who is found not wearing a mask at a public place," he said. "Till now it was ₹500. If you wear a mask, there are fewer chances of people contracting Covid-19."
The rising number of cases in Delhi has also prompted neighboring states to step up measures to check people traveling from here. An order by the Gautam Buddh Nagar administration was passed on Tuesday, giving nod to random testing that will be done for people travelling through DND flyover and Chilla in Eastern suburbs of Delhi. While motorists say that this is a hassle for them, there is no sign of these random tests being done away with till such time that Covid-19 cases continue to rise.