In the wake of a substantial rise in the number of novel coronavirus cases in Bengaluru, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the local civic authority, has made it mandatory for citizens to wear masks in public areas and work spaces.
“Maintaining social distancing, wearing facial masks and adopting proper segregated waste disposal and sanitation could help contain the spread of coronavirus,” an official order issued by BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar stated.
As per the order, wearing a facial mask to cover mouth and nose is compulsory in public places and in any working space with more than 5 people.
The order further adds that facial masks and gloves used by households and commercial establishments should be properly handed over to waste collectors in covers or closed bags as part of sanitary (reject) waste.
Earlier on Thursday, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar had stressed on the importance of disposing used masks scientifically.
“We have received several complaints about improper disposal of masks. While medical staff should dispose surgical masks scientifically in similar ways of how N 95 masks and PPE kits are disposed, citizens need not use surgical masks. Instead, cotton masks shall be used. However, disposing them in public places, or water bodies is an offence,” Sudhakar had said.
Meanwhile, BBMP has added that spitting, urinating, littering and any kind of related public nuisance is banned and would be considered a public offence.
Not wearing masks in Bengaluru? Be ready to pay fines
While violators not wearing masks, and those indulging in acts such as spitting, urinating and littering in public places will be fined Rs 1,000 for the first violation, the fine will be doubled to Rs 2,000 for the second and subsequent violations.
“Any person, institution, or organisation violating these regulations shall be proceeded against by competent authorities empowered under the Epidemic Disease Act (1897), the Disaster Management Act, SWM Rules 2016 and BBMP Byelaws (Draft) 2020,” Kumar said.
He added charges will be levied for violating sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code as well.
As of 12 noon on Friday (May 1), Bengaluru has recorded 147 positive cases in total (including urban and rural areas) of which 67 have recovered from the infection. The city has also recorded 5 deaths due to the pandemic so far.
The BBMP has also identified containment zones in 24 wards within the city limits. While 10 of these fall under BBMP South Zone, 5 are in East, 4 in West, 2 each are in Mahadevapura, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, and one is in Bommanahalli Zone respectively.
The first Covid-19 positive case in Karnataka was confirmed in Bengaluru on March 9.
BBMP had earlier launched a doorstep delivery service system across the city to ensure essentials are delivered to citizens’ homes after placing an order via calls or on WhatsApp.
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