Rs 2,000 Fine For Not Wearing Masks In Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal, leader of the Aam Aadmi Party and Chief Minister of Delhi, speaks during an event in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Rs 2,000 Fine For Not Wearing Masks In Delhi

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced hiking fines for not using face masks to Rs 2,000 from Rs 500 and increasing the number of beds for Covid-19 patients at hospitals amid a massive Covid-19 surge here.

He also appealed to the people not to celebrate Chhath at ponds and other water bodies in the city.

The chief minister said the Delhi government was implementing from Nov. 19 its decision to reserve 80% of ICU beds in private hospitals for Covid-19 patients.

Private hospitals have also been directed to increase the percentage of non-ICU Covid-19 beds from 50% to 60%, he said in a virtual briefing.

Kejriwal said he met Lt Governor Anil Baijal to apprise him of various steps being taken by the government to check Covid-19, and added that the fine for not wearing masks has been raised to Rs 2,000 from Rs 500.

Arrangements are being made for over 1,400 ICU beds, including 663 in Delhi government hospitals and 750 at a Central government facility, the chief minister said, adding around 7,500 normal and 446 ICU beds are currently available for Covid-19 patients in Delhi.

The hospitals have also been asked to postpone non-critical planned surgeries for the time being, he said.

The chief minister said he received assurance of cooperation from various political parties at an all-party meeting on the Covid-19 situation in Delhi. He said that he urged them to distribute face masks to save people from the infection.

Saying that there should be no politics over Covid-19, he appealed to people not to go to water bodies to perform Chhath Puja and instead celebrate the festival at home.

Even if one Covid-19 infected person enters the water during Chhath Puja, all others might get infected by the virus, the chief minister said.

The Delhi government is being forced to restrict Chhath Puja celebrations at riverbanks, ponds and other public places due to the threat of the infection, he said.

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