COVID-19 2nd wave: No mask? Pay fine in AP now!

With the spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, Andhra Pradesh government issued orders making it mandatory for every individual to wear face masks in public places, and the violation will attract a penalty of Rs 100. 
The government also ordered for closure of all swimming pools with immediate effect. The government has authorised police personnel to impose and collect penalty from the mask violators. Further, the government said physical distance of five feet between individuals should be maintained in all public places and establishments. In-charges of these establishments will be responsible for enforcing physical distancing.
“In any public place or venue, wherever there are fixed seats, the alternate seats shall be kept vacant so as to maintain physical distance. Besides wearing masks, hand sanitization is mandatory for all staff and the general public. At public places or venues without fixed seating, a distance of five feet should be maintained,’’ the orders read.
Thermal screening, hand sanitisation and maintenance of physical distance should be ensured at all shopping centres, commercial establishments and other areas where people frequent. District collectors have been asked to enforce the guidelines to contain the spread of Covid- 19 in the State.
“The government had issued instructions from time to time to maintain physical distance between individuals, wearing masks and frequent hand sanitisation to prevent the spread of Covid infection. However, there is a non-compliance of these guidelines. Surge in cases is reported in the last two weeks,’’ chief secretary Aditya Nath Das said while issuing the GO. 
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh witnessed a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases and fatalities in the 24 hours as on Tuesday. A total of 8,987 new cases were reported taking the State’s Covid tally to 9,76,987.  It is the highest single-day spike in Covid cases since September 13, 2020. 
The number of fatalities reported was 35, which is the highest since October 15. The number of active cases increased to 53,889. It is the highest caseload in the State since October 4. Contrary to the assessment, the State witnessed a sharp spike in Covid cases. The daily count almost reached the 9,000-mark on April 20. With 35 new fatalities, the Covid toll increased to 7,472.

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