The Delhi government on Thursday announced that Rs 2,000 fine will be slapped on those found without a mask. Addressing the media, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the government has decided to the hike the fine from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 to ensure people comply with the rules. He said that wearing a mask regularly could reduce the spread of virus significantly.
"A fine of Rs 2000 will be imposed on anyone who is found not wearing a mask at a public place," he said.
Kejriwal also assured Delhiites that enough beds are available in the hospitals in the national capital to treat people.
The CM said that he chaired an all-party meeting today to discuss the Covid situation in the national capital. Kejriwal said that the political parties have agreed that this is the time and serve the people of Delhi. "I told all parties in the meeting that it's a difficult time for the people of Delhi when Covid cases are rising. It's not the time for politics, there is an entire lifetime for it. We should set aside politics and allegations for a few days. This is the time to serve people," he said.
On Chhath Puja, Kejriwal clarified that the AAP government is not against the celebrations, adding that the decision to ban the festival at public places is aimed at containing the spread of virus.
"We want our brothers and sisters to celebrate Chhath Puja very nicely. Please celebrate but if 200 people enter into a pond at a time, and even if just one of them has Covid-19, all of them will contract the infection. This is also the opinion of experts," the CM said. What is banned is the entering of a large number of people in a pond or river at once. Let's celebrate at homes, he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Delhi High Court upheld the city government's decision to ban Chhath puja celebrations at public places in the national capital in view of the pandemic. The HC said that "granting permission will act as super spreader of COVID-19".
Delhi is witnessing a fresh wave of coronavirus. On Wednesday, the national capital recorded 7,486 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 5 lakh. A total of 131 people lost their lives -- the highest single-day death count till date.