With the number of Covid-19 cases rising constantly, the district authorities have increased enforcement against people not wearing face masks in public places. While cases and the positivity rate have seen a massive increase in August, there has been a dip in challans for not wearing masks.
From close to 1,000 challans a day till July 15, the number of challans issued daily came down to below 500 from August 1. After August 5, the number has remained below 400. However, challans are now expected to go up with more enforcement teams being deployed in public places that witness higher footfalls, like markets, office complexes, etc.
South district has deployed three enforcement teams in its sub-divisions of Hauz Khas, Mehrauli and Saket. Headed by a tehsildar, each team would have 15 civil defence volunteers. East district has set up special camps for administering the third dose of the vaccine. South East district is ensuring strict compliance of Covid-appropriate behaviour. The district has deployed five enforcement teams, which may be increased.
Delhi Disaster Management Authority had raised the fine for violating Covid-appropriate behaviour to Rs 2,000 in November 2021 in view of surging cases. In February 2022, the fine was slashed to Rs 500 and was lifted on March 31. However, when cases started rising, the fine of Rs 500 was reimposed from April 22. While the fine is still in place, enforcement has slackened because the Omicron variant is less virulent.
While not wearing a face mask or cover in public places is an offence, the fine is not applicable to people travelling in private four-wheelers. The exemption to four-wheelers, however, is not applicable to taxis or app-based cabs.
At the peak of the third wave earlier this year, 5,000 challans were being issued on average daily for not following Covid-appropriate behaviour. However, the number was around 1,000 per day between May and June.