The coronavirus epidemic is currently raging in India, which to date has 23,727 deaths out of 906,752 reported cases of COVID-19 disease.
Flouting quarantine rules, not wearing masks, failure to maintain social distancing, and chewing and spitting tobacco in public will attract a fine of Rs 500 in Delhi, according to rules approved by Delhi lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal that aim to crack down on those violating rules central to the safety protocol to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The L-G’s office, in its statement said, “Fines will be imposed if any person is found violating the following norms — 1) Observation of quarantine rules. 2) Maintaining social distancing. 3) Wearing of face mask/cover in all public places /workplaces. 4) Prohibition of spitting in public places. 5) Prohibition on consumption of paan, gutka, tobacco, etc., in public places.”
In this context of health crisis, the government requires the wearing of masks in public spaces, in transport and at work. If the measure seems generally respected in the big cities, of many Indians however wear their uncomfortable mask in a baroque way, hanging in the ear, slipped under the nose or the chin.
Since March, Delhi police have distributed more than 42,000 fines for not wearing a mask or not respecting physical distancing. Across India, law enforcement has raised hundreds of thousands of euros in fines, ranging from 200 rupees in Bangalore ($ 3.6) to 1,000 rupees ($ 18) in Bombay.
Fines given for non-compliance with health protection measures amount to nearly $ 180,000 in one month in the city of Bangalore (south), local police chief Hemant Nimbalkar announced on week.
“We are not proud of this feat,” he said, calling on residents to follow the instructions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In a recent televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi castigated the “negligence” of some of his fellow citizens in the face of the virus and urged them not to relax their vigilance.
In the city of Firozabad (north), offenders wearing a mask are not fined, but must take a four-hour course on physical distancing and write down 500 times.
The rule is valid for a period of one year.