The Kolkata Police has arrested over 3,000 people in the last 10 days for flouting COVID-19 protocol and not wearing masks, a senior officer said on Wednesday. Besides, intensifying vigil in and around the city, Kolkata Police between October 11 to 20 has arrested at least 3,418 people for not wearing face masks to check the spread of coronavirus, the officer said.
"… We are trying to raise the awareness level of the people about wearing masks during this ongoing pandemic. But some people have taken this thing very casually and violating the norms. And now with the Durga Puja around and with doctors cautioning we have enhanced the vigil and started being strict with such violators," the senior Kolkata Police officer said. The maximum number of 734 arrests were made on October 18, while on Tuesday there were 495 arrests.
Apart from the Naka checkings, police were arresting people from places in and around the market and shopping malls which have been witnessing people gathering in large numbers for Durga Puja shopping. "We are keeping a tight vigil on areas like New Market, Gariahat, Lake Market and areas which have markets and shopping malls and arresting people for not wearing masks," the officer said, adding that the drive will continue.
West Bengal has reported 3,29,057 COVID-19 cases and 6,180 deaths from the viral disease so far. In the first week of September over 300 people were arrested on an average every day from the city roads for not wearing masks.
Incidentally, the police had launched a campaign titled "MaskUpKolkata" this July and Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma on Monday said that policemen will distribute masks from puja pandals in the city during the five days of the Durga Puja.