District Collector Innocent Divya issued the warning in light of rising COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu.

Birds eye video of Ootys winding roadsPixabay
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, March 12, 2021 - 14:11

Amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in several states across the country, the administration in Tamil Nadu's hill district Udhagamandalam warned of six months imprisonment to those found without face masks in public places. The district administration of Udhagamandalam aka Ooty, home to popular tourist destinations and touted as the Queen of Hills, made the announcement on Thursday.

District Collector Innocent Divya issued the warning to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 cases in the hill town, in the backdrop of the rise in fresh cases in various states and cities, official sources said. The picturesque hill district, home to several tourist attractions and the headquarters town of Ooty, opened up to the public in December after remaining shut during the lockdown. The administration has purportedly decided to invoke the penal provisions, including a fine of Rs 200 and up to six months imprisonment, against those violating the order to wear masks and other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

On Thursday, Tamil Nadu recorded over 600 COVID-19 cases. A total of 685 persons from the state tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with 292 cases reported from capital city Chennai. On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority in a tweet said that COVID-19 cases in the state have increased by 51.81% in the past 16 days, and warned people to stay cautious. Since the pandemic struck, the state has seen 8,57,602 COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the Union government has warned people across the country to stay on their guard, given the steeply rising COVID-19 cases. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Nagpur, Pune, Thane, Mumbai, Bengaluru Urban, Ernakulam, Amravati, Jalgaon, Nashik and Aurangabad districts have the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the country presently.

(With inputs from PTI)

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