The Telangana government on Sunday ordered that not wearing a face mask in public places will attract a penalty of Rs 1,000. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar issued directions to all Collectors/District Magistrates and Commissioners and Superintendents of Police in the state to strictly implement the order.
The Government Order (GO) was issued on a day when the state reported the highest-ever single day count of COVID-19 cases. According to the Health Department, the state reported 3,187 new cases during the last 24 hours.
The government on March 27 had issued an order making wearing of a face mask mandatory in all public places, workspaces and means of transport. The order was issued to check the spread of COVID-19 in view of the surge in infections.
It was also mandated that any deviation in this regard shall attract prosecution under section 51 to 60 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and section 188 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as other applicable laws.
However, according to reports, there was no strict enforcement of the GO issued last month. Police had clarified that it is trying to create awareness before beginning the enforcement.
Last week, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had said that a person not wearing a mask in public will be fined Rs 1,000 and asked the police to strictly enforce the mask-on rule.
He had said that wearing of masks should be enforced strictly to contain the spread of the pandemic.
"If the people do not wear masks they should be fined Rs 1,000 per person," he said, telling the Director General of Police to instruct the Police Department to enforce this mask rule strictly.
The Chief Minister urged the people to follow all the Covid guidelines, wear masks, take all precautions, and be alert to contain the spread of Covid.