People will be charged a fine of Rs 5,000 in Kerala’s Wayanad, if found not wearing masks in public spaces, Superintendent of Police Ilango said on Wednesday. Strict preventive measures have been implemented in the city, even though Wayanad has become free from COVID-19.
"The police will invoke the Kerala Police Act (KPA) 118 E and a case will be registered against an individual who fails to wear a mask. As per the KPA, Rs 5000 fine will be collected from the person," said the SP.
The Wayanad SP further said that that if the person proceeds with the case, as per the act, and is found guilty, he or she will attract an imprisonment of 3 years, or fine of Rs 10,000 or both.
Apart from collecting fines from people for not wearing masks in public, shopkeepers would also be fined if they lack the facility to sanitise hands in their shops.
"A fine of Rs 1000 will be collected from shop keepers who fail to keep soaps or sanitizer facility in their shops or if employees are not wearing masks. The fine will be compounded as per KPA 120," Ilango said.
Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in various states, there was much to cheer for Kerala as it recorded a total of 359 recoveries out of the total 485 positive COVID-19 patients including four fatalities, as of Wednesday.
Though the tally of active patients fell to 126 in the southern state which recorded 387 positive cases since the country's first COVID-19 case on January 30, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cautioned it was not yet time to lower the guard. The state should maintain its stringent vigil and follow the lockdown restrictions without fail, he told reporters.
"In our country, the recovery rate is the highest in Kerala and 359 patients have been completely cured of the disease. There is good progress in testing and we are doing increased numbers now. But we cannot afford to give more exemptions and relaxations in the lockdown conditions," Vijayan said.
(With inputs from ANI)