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As Covid Cases Drop, Delhi Disaster Agency May Lift Mask Fines

The DDMA had imposed the fine of ₹ 500 on not wearing face mask at public places in April.

As Covid Cases Drop, Delhi Disaster Agency May Lift Mask Fines

New Delhi: The DDMA may lift the ₹ 500 fine on not wearing masks in public places along with scaling down deployment of staff and equipment in hospitals in a phased manner as the city witnesses a steady decline in COVID-19 cases, officials said.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) met here on Thursday to review the Covid situation in the national capital and conduct an assessment of dedicated resources deployed at hospitals to tackle coronavirus.

The decisions taken in the meeting will come into force after a formal notification by the DDMA.

LG V K Saxena chaired the meeting, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in attendance.

Kejriwal emphasized on people to take the booster dose of the COVID vaccine and asked them to follow all protocols and keep their families safe during the coming festive season.

"The meeting decided for relaxing ₹ 500 penalties on violation of mask mandate. It also decided in favor of more measures to ensure COVID-appropriate behavior through creating awareness during the festive season," said a senior Delhi government officer present in the meeting.

The DDMA had imposed the fine of ₹ 500 on not wearing face mask at public places in April.

The participants of DDMA meeting also decided to enhance the surveillance of ILI-SARI cases to detect any early warnings, said officials present in the meeting.

They said that there was also a consensus on bringing up the percentage of precautionary doses of vaccination that currently stands at 24, to at least 40 to 50 percent.

"Deployment of staff and equipment in hospitals will be scaled down in a calibrated and phased manner and the health department will prepare an action plan," said another government official.

There was also an emphasis on analyzing the genome sequencing data to detect any surge in cases or new variants, with the expert members also stressing that there is no need to let the guard down.

Earlier in the day, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal urged people to get the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"The DDMA meeting was held under LG sir's chairmanship. Took stock of the current situation of coronavirus. Several key decisions were taken. I appeal to all Delhiites to get booster doses of the vaccine.

"Keep your family safe from coronavirus in the festive season. Follow all the protocols to protect yourself from coronavirus," Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.

Delhi on Wednesday recorded 123 fresh Covid cases with a positivity rate of 1.14 percent, according to the data shared by the health department here.

Cases of COVID-19 in Delhi had registered a drop in the last several days.

A total of 324 patients are under home isolation, the bulletin said, adding that of the 9,266 beds reserved for Covid patients in various city hospitals, 45 are occupied.

There are 64 Covid containment zones in Delhi.

The number of daily Covid cases in Delhi touched a record high of 28,867 on January 13, during the third wave of the pandemic.

The city recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 percent on January 14, the highest during the third wave.

Original News: Delhi | Press Trust of India

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Scrabbl staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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