CHENNAI: Amid a surge in its Covid-19 cases and laxity among people in following the health protocol, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday reintroduced levying penalty on those who don't wear a face-mask and directed officials of the departments concerned to ensure that the rule was strictly followed across the State.
"A fine of Rs 500 has been imposed again for not wearing a mask in public places in Tamil Nadu. District Collectors have been instructed to collect fines so everyone must wear a mask," Principal Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said.
"We have already issued guidelines on corona prevention measures to educational institutions. Students from IIT Madras who tested positive for Covid are stable now," he said.
"We have directed the officials of local administration, health and police department to collect fines from those members of public who were not seen wearing a facial mask while in public places,", he told reporters.
After showing a decline in covid trend, both daily additions, as well as the active case in the state, have been on the rise over the past few days, with the State witnessing 39 new infections on Thursday.
Admitting that collection of a fines for not wearing a mask was relaxed earlier (as new cases were waning in Tamil Nadu), Radhakrishnan said these days people were not seen wearing a face mask while in public.
"They may be travelling in a metropolitan bus or in a public place, but they are not seen wearing a mask", he said.
Allaying fears of the spread of the virus, he said 1,16,451 beds were allotted to treat Covid-19 patients at government hospitals and only 18 people were admitted.
"Though it is good news, people are not following the covid-19 appropriate behaviour which may lead to resurgence of the virus. Therefore, our appeal is that people should wear a mask while in public places, vaccinate themselves if they are eligible," he added.
(With inputs from agencies)