The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has decided to lift the existing mask mandate and stop levying the Rs 500 fine for not wearing masks in public places due to a consistent drop in COVID-19 cases in the national capital and throughout the nation.
In Delhi, the fine for failing to wear a mask in public was reinstated earlier this month due to increased infections. Following a meeting held in this respect, the DDMA issued an updated formal order.
However, the choice was not made unanimously or with complete agreement. According to the minutes of the meeting, Sushil Singh, the special Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for disaster management, reportedly said that while the situation was comfortable at the time, the guard against the coronavirus could not be lowered because new variants kept emerging.
Extra Caution Advised Due To Numerous Events
The health ministry and Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul suggested extra care due to the numerous events that will take place from September 26 to December 31 and the potential for sizable crowds across the country. One suggestion called for masks to be required until November 15 in light of festivities.
According to PTI, the Chief Secretary had also stated that because the public is well aware of its obligations and what constitutes COVID-appropriate behaviour, a self-discipline mode might be explored now.
Difficulties In Carrying Out The Mask Mandate
After the meeting, which was presided over by LG VK Saxena in the presence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, it was decided that even while wearing a mask helped to maintain COVID-appropriate behaviour, the order requiring its usage under the Epidemic Act could not be prolonged past September 30.
As per News 18, the DDMA also concurred that the Rs 500 charge for failing to wear a mask in public places will be lifted after September 30. However, Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot stated that there were now "practical difficulties" in enforcing the mask mandate, emphasizing the need to relax the rule.
In addition, due to a decrease in patient volume, three COVID care centres in the city will be demolished, and their respective sites will be abandoned. However, Covid hospitals have extended the services of contract personnel there till the end of the year.
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