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Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Delhi may remove mask fine and reduce number of Covid beds next month

An official said a government order was awaited and that people should still continue to wear masks and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.

covidAfter the meeting, CM Kejriwal urged people to get booster doses. (Express file photo by Parth Paul)

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has decided to stop levying the Rs 500 fine for not wearing masks in public places from October 1, given that Covid infections in the national capital have declined steadily.

“Covid cases have dropped drastically in Delhi and the situation is better than earlier. Keeping all this in view, it was decided to do away with the mask fine. However, it doesn’t mean the people need not follow rules; they should continue to wear masks. This will come into force once an official order comes,” an official said.

According to the official, the decision was taken at a Covid review meeting attended by Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior officials on Thursday.

The meeting also decided to reduce the staff, equipment and beds reserved for Covid patients in hospitals in a phased manner.

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Earlier, on March 31, the authority removed the mask fine, only to restore it three weeks later as infections surged again in the city.

Ahead of the upcoming festival season, officials said, the government will conduct an awareness campaign on the importance of Covid-appropriate behaviour in public places.

The authority also decided to enhance the surveillance of ILI-SARI (influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory illness) cases to detect early warnings. Genome sequencing will continue to be done to keep a tab on new variants of the coronavirus, officials said.

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After the meeting, Kejriwal urged people to get booster doses. “DDMA meeting was held under the chairmanship of LG sir. Took stock of the current civid situation among many other important decisions. I appeal to all people of Delhi to get booster doses and keep your family safe from corona during the festival season. Take all precautions to avoid corona,” he tweeted.

Delhi saw 123 Covid cases and a positivity rate of 1.14 per cent on Wednesday. A total of 324 patients are in self-isolation and 45 of total 9,366 Covid beds are vacant, according to a health bulletin.

First published on: 23-09-2022 at 03:26:09 pm
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