Despite repeated requests and warning by police and other authorities for more than two months, residents of Chennai still seem to be shying away from wearing masks to fight COVID-19.
As many as 33,986 people were booked in just 12 days making it an average of 2,840 people daily, sources said adding that all were slapped with a fine Rs 500 each. Police had been checking at least at 120 points daily since the mask was mandatory with a fine of Rs 500 for those defying the order. They had been concentrating more on motorists without masks. All the mask violators were asked to leave their vehicles with police and buy masks to get their vehicle back besides paying a fine of Rs 500, police noted.
Police had initially started an awareness drive and free distribution of masks in certain areas but after the Chennai Corporation officials reiterated that people should wear masks when they are public places, police started to implement the rule in a strict manner catching thousands of people for violation of the order.
An order to this effect was issued as the Tamil Nadu government extended the lockdown to check the spread of the coronavirus till March 30 as the number of positive cases in the state rose to over 1,000. The order has been issued under the Epidemic Diseases Act and TN Public Health Act, the GCC said.