Amid the growing Coronavirus crisis in the country, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Sunday made wearing of masks compulsory in the city from April 13. According to the Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra, everyone should compulsorily wear a mask while getting out of the house or cover their mouth and nose with a handkerchief or even tie a loose cloth around the mouth and nose.
According to the Commissioner, a fine of Rs 1,000 will be imposed on first-time violators. Further, subsequent violations will attract a penalty of Rs 5,000 in each case. Nehra added that those who are unable to pay the penalty will attract prosecution under Section 188 of IPC and provisions of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897.
In a bid to ensure strict implementation of the lockdown, the Ahmedabad police started using drones since last week to track the people who are violating the lockdown rules. As per reports, at least eight drones have been pressed into service which has so far helped police in tracking down and arresting over 48 people for violating various notifications issued by the state government. Reportedly, several FIRs have also been registered.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of deadly coronavirus, stating that "social distancing" is the only way to contain the disease which is spreading rapidly across the world. As India's total case count crossed the 8,000 mark, the Centre is considering a two-week extension of the lockdown currently in effect across the country.
Meanwhile, PM Modi held a video conference with the states' Chief Ministers to discuss the situation and get their feedback on whether the 21-day shutdown should be extended. Following the meeting, Telangana, Maharashtra and West Bengal became the latest states to extend the lockdown period, after similar moves by Odisha and Punjab earlier this week.
According to the latest update of the Union Health Ministry, about 8,447 cases of COVID-19 infection have been reported in the country including 7,409 active cases. While 273 deaths have been reported overall, around 765 people have been cured/discharged/migrated. Currently, the highest number of cases have been reported from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
(With ANI Inputs)