Chennai, First Published Jan 13, 2022, 6:25 PM IST
The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced to levy a fine of Rs 500 for not wearing masks covering the mouth and nose in public places. The state health department increased the fine for not wearing masks to Rs 500 from Rs 200 by amending the rules in the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939.
The order issued by health secretary J Radhakrishnan published in the state gazette on January 12 said the government was exercising its powers conferred by the Act to amend the rules. The amendment will give authorities the power to fine people who do not wear masks covering their noses and mouths.
“According to the order issued by health department principal secretary J Radhakrishnan, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 138 A of Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939, the Governor of Tamil Nadu hereby makes the following amendment to the Rule published with the health and family welfare department. In the said Rule, for the entry Rs 200 non wearing a mask covering mouth and nose as ordered by the appropriate authority from time to time, the entry of Rs 500 shall be substituted”, the GO said.
Almost all scientific evidence and studies point out that adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour, particularly wearing masks, reduces the risk of transmission of the viral infection.
“We have increased our vaccination coverage to a large extent and most of our people are double vaccinated. While vaccination reduces risk of disease and death, there is still risk of infection,” said director of public health Dr T S Selva Vinayagam.
Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that till now, roughly about Rs 105 crore has been collected as fines for violations of Covid-19 norms in the State.
“There is a genuine concern among people about the increase of Covid-19 cases. But this is not translating into the right kind of behaviour and adherence to public measures such as avoiding crowded areas. The basic requirement is to wear masks and maintain physical distancing norms. People need to understand how Omicron spreads. Most of those infected are asymptomatic,” he said.
Chief Minister M K Stalin has time and again been appealing to the public to wear face masks and even made unscheduled stops and distributed masks to those not wearing one on busy roads in Chennai.
Last Updated Jan 13, 2022, 6:25 PM IST