As COVID-19 cases rise in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Thursday that the fine for not wearing a mask in public has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000.
He accredited this development to the carelessness of the people. Addressing a press conference post an all-party meeting, Kejriwal said, "People are wearing masks. But there is leniency as well. We need to tighten the screws. The fine which was Rs 500 so far has been increased to Rs 2,000."
He also requested people to celebrate Chhath Pooja on November 20 at their homes, instead of crowding ponds, lakes, and rivers for the same. "According to experts, if 200 people enter a pond and even if one person is infected with the virus then all those who are in the water will 100 per cent get the virus," added the Chief Minister.
Kejriwal also emphasised that this decision should not be politicised, saying that the Delhi government is not against the festival; the decision taken is in light of the rising cases, and is in the interest of the safety of people. "Delhi is going through a tough phase. This is not the time to play politics and issue statements against political parties but to work together and serve."
Thanking the doctors and healthcare workers for their painstaking efforts to ensure minimal fatalities in the national capital, Kejriwal also made an announcement regarding the functioning of private hospitals in Delhi. While all non-emergency surgeries are to be postponed, the hospitals are to reserve 80 per cent of ICU and 60 per cent of non-ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.
In addition to this, the Delhi government also wants to revert back to its previous restriction of 50 guests for wedding gatherings, taking away the updated relaxation of 200 guests allowed since November 1. This decision taken by the government is awaiting approval from the Lieutenant General.