Bhubaneswar: With social distancing and use of face masks seem to be the only effective way to keep COVID-19 at bay, Odisha Police is now gearing up to ensure people strictly wear masks whenever they step out of their homes.
Any kind of violation will attract strict action as Odisha government has increased penalties for spitting in public and not wearing masks.
Odisha Director General of Police Abhay informed that penalties for both the offences have been increased from Rs 200 to Rs 500 (First & second offence) and the charges will double to Rs 1000 for each subsequent violation.
“In the past few weeks, we have found that people are becoming careless and negligent. It is the most crucial phase in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. The entire month of May was used to create awareness among people and now we will act tough on violators,” said Abhay.
Abhay informed that there is a provision under Epidemic Diseases Act under which repeated offenders can be booked for their negligent behaviour and they can be arrested. Hence, we urge people to wear mask whenever they step out of their homes.
According to Abhay, most of the enforcement was being done in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar where over 14,000 cases of violations were reported. However, enforcement will be extended across Odisha in the month of June.
Abhay further stated that “The State Government has given adequate relaxation for livelihood activities and for public and vehicular transport. But such relaxations should not be misused for recreational purposes.”