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Delhi Lifts Mask Mandate & Fines, Decision Anything but Unanimous Reveals Minutes of Key Meet

By: News Desk

Edited By: Revathi Hariharan

News18.com

Last Updated: October 05, 2022, 09:31 IST

New Delhi, India

Covid Cases have been on a steady decline across the country (Reuters/File)

Covid Cases have been on a steady decline across the country (Reuters/File)

The penalty for not wearing mask in public was reimposed in Delhi earlier this April after there was a spike in cases. A formal order was issued by the DDMA after a meeting that was held in this regard.

With a steady decline in Covid cases in the country and in the national capital, Delhi Disaster Management Authority or DDMA has decided to lift the existing mask mandate and will also stop levying the Rs 500 fine for not wearing masks in public places.

The penalty for not wearing mask in public was reimposed in Delhi earlier this April after there was a spike in cases. A formal order was issued by the DDMA after a meeting that was held in this regard.

The decision however did not get full consensus and was not made unanimously. According to the minutes of the meeting issued by Sushil Singh - special CEO of disaster management, Chief Secretary of Delhi Naresh Kumar had in the meeting said that the current situation was comfortable, but the guard against Coronavirus could not be lowered as the variants keep coming up, reports PTI.

The health ministry and Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul had both advised caution in view of multiple festivals from September 26 to December 31 and likely mass gatherings across the country.

Several suggestions were made with one calling for mandatory masks up to November 15 in view of festivals. The Chief Secretary had also suggested that a self-discipline mode may be tried now as the public is well aware of its responsibilities and what constitutes a COVID-appropriate behavior, per PTI.

However, the revenue minister Kailash Gahlot had expressed that there were now “practical difficulties" in the enforcement of the mask mandate, and stressed the need to relax the rule.

At the end of the meeting chaired by LG V K Saxena and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in attendance, an agreement was made that though wearing of masks was useful in maintaining Covid-appropriate behaviour, the order of compulsory wearing of masks under the Epidemic Act may not be extended beyond September 30.

The DDMA also agreed that the fine of Rs 500 for not wearing masks in public places will stand withdrawn after September 30, it added.

Additionally, three Covid care centres in the city will also be dismantled and the land used for it will be vacated in view of the declining cases. However, services of contract employees working at Covid hospitals have been extended till the year end.

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first published:October 05, 2022, 09:17 IST
last updated:October 05, 2022, 09:31 IST
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