Amid Omicron scare, Gurgaon makes wearing masks in public mandatory

Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg, via a statement, said respective departments would be issuing challans if people were found not following Covid-19 protocols.

International travellers from 12 high-risk countries will be tested on arrival and will be quarantined for 14 days, the chief medical officer of the district said. (Express Photo/Representational)

Amid concerns over the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, two cases of which have already been detected in India, the Gurgaon district administration on Thursday made it mandatory for people to wear masks and follow social distancing norms while out in public spaces.

A statement issued by Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg read: “At places such as schools, educational institutions, industries, business complexes, railway stations, bus stands etc., where there is a possibility of overcrowding, the concerned departments — police, health, municipal corporation and market committee — will issue challans if people are not wearing masks or not following social distancing norms.”

The statement added that officers of all the concerned departments had been instructed to ensure that the standard operating procedure (SOP) prescribed regarding Covid protocols were strictly followed.

According to the bulletin issued by the district health department on Thursday, the district reported 19 fresh Covid-19 cases, while 9 people recovered from the infection. On Wednesday, the health department had directed private and government hospitals to update details of bed availability within 48 hours. During a meeting of the Covid task force earlier this week, the department had also asked private hospitals to submit a list of hotels and guest houses where international patients had been staying to track them.

Virender Yadav, the chief medical officer of Gurgaon, said, “Today, 19 Covid cases have been reported. This is perhaps the highest in the last four months. The situation is under control, but we are making constant efforts to contain any potential spread of the infection, especially amid concerns of the new Omicron variant. International travellers from 12 high-risk countries will be tested on arrival and will be quarantined for 14 days.”

There are 77 active Covid cases in Gurgaon, of which 74 are under home isolation and three are hospitalised. Officials said 12,486 people were vaccinated on Thursday, with 2,764 being administered the first dose and 9,722 the second. Over 3.87 million people have been inoculated in Gurgaon to date.

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