K’taka govt mulling to penalise mask rule violators
Bengaluru: To arrest surge in Covid cases, the Karnataka government is mulling action against those violating the mask rule.
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Covid-19 has recommended the measure to contain the possible pandemic situation in the state. The health department is seriously considering the advice and is expected to take call on it in a week.
The recommendation was made in the wake of a spike in the number of Covid cases and finding of the sub lineages of Omicron. During the second wave, the government had imposed a Rs 250 fine on the people for not wearing masks.
Compared to other parts of the state, the majority of new Covid cases are being reported from Bengaluru which accounts for 96 per cent fresh cases. It reports about 500 to 700 cases in a day.
According to statistics available with the health department, among the total active cases in the state (4,288) 95 per cent of cases (4,088) are in Bengaluru. The number of containment zones have swelled to 33 in the city. It is likely that the mask rule (with fine) will be implemented here first.
Though the state government in its June 10 order has directed authorities to implement the mask rule with the help of police and local bodies, it has had very little impact. Meanwhile, the number of cases has crossed 800-mark and the positivity rate for the day is nearing 4 per cent. The finding of sub lineages of Omicron, BA3, BA4 and BA5 in the state is also one of the reasons why the government is seriously contemplating imposing a fine on mask rule violations.
Meanwhile, the health department has also warned schools that if they conceal the information on Covid infections, action will be initiated against them.
Sources reveal that the schools, especially private institutions, are not revealing the information on infections fearing that parents will stop sending their children to the school.
Health Department Commissioner D. Randeep had asked the school management not to hide the information on Covid infections and take necessary precautions.
Karnataka has reported 615 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours against 767 discharges. Positivity rate for the day recorded at 3.12 per cent and weekly positivity rate stood at 3.45 per cent.