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Rs 2,000 fine for not wearing mask in Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal


New Delhi, Nov 19: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday hiked the fine for not wearing face-mask to Rs 2,000 from Rs 500.

"People are wearing masks. But there is leniency as well. We need to tighten the screws. The fine which was Rs 500 so far has been increased to Rs 2,000," Kejriwal said, addressing a press meet after an all-party meet held to address the Covid-19 situation of the Capital.

Arvind Kejriwal

"We want our brothers and sisters to celebrate Chhath Puja very nicely. Please celebrate but if 200 people enter into a pond at a time, and even if just one of them has COVID-19, all of them will contract the infection. This is also the opinion of experts," he said.

"You can imagine that COVID19 will be spread on a large scale. So, celebrations are not banned. What is banned is the entering of a large number of people in a pond or river at once. Let's celebrate at homes," he urged Delhiites.

Delhi recorded 7,486 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 5 lakh, even as 131 new fatalities, the highest single-day death count till date, pushed the toll to 7,943, authorities said.

These fresh cases came out of the 62,232 tests conducted the previous day, while the positivity rate stood at 12.03 per cent amid the festive season and rising pollution in the city, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

The highest single-day spike of 8593 COVID-19 cases till date here was recorded on November 11 when 85 fatalities were recorded.

A total of 131 fatalities were recorded, pushing the toll in the national capital to 7,943, the bulletin said.

Coronavirus: India's daily recoveries more than fresh infections for over 1.5 months

The active cases tally on Wednesday rose to 42,458 from 42,004 the previous day.

The bulletin said that the total number of cases has climbed to 5,03,084, while the recovery rate stood at over 89 per cent.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said over 660 ICU beds are planned to be added in various city government hospitals in the next few days in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases here.

He also said a proposal has been sent to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor for the central government to allow the city government to impose "local lockdowns in the market places which are potential COVID hotspots".

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said there won't be any fresh lockdown in the national capital as there is "no need for it", but restrictions could be imposed in some crowded areas to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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    Meanwhile, the Delhi government also issued an order on Wednesday allowing all COVID-19 hospitals of the Delhi government to "engage fourth and fifth-year MBBS students, interns and BDS doctors to assist duty doctors at an honorarium of Rs 1,000 (8-hour shift) and Rs 2,000 (12-hour shift) per day".

    In case of interns, the honorarium would be over and above their stipend, it said.

    The number of containment zones in Delhi slightly dropped to 4,449 on Wednesday from 4,444 on Tuesday.

    The sudden spike in cases comes amid the festive season and rising pollution level. While Durga Puja celebrations ended on October 25, Diwali fell on Saturday and Chhath is on November 20-21.

    The National Centre for Disease Control in a report drafted recently had warned that Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings.

    According to the Wednesday bulletin, out of the total number of 16,884 beds in COVID hospitals, 7,541 are vacant.

    It said that 503 beds in COVID care centres are occupied by persons under quarantine, including travellers who have returned by the Vande Bharat Mission and bubble flights.

    The Delhi government has significantly ramped up testing in the past few days, with the count on several times crossing the 60,000-mark.

    On Tuesday, 19,085 RT-PCR tests while 43,147 rapid antigen tests were conducted, the bulletin said.

    The number of tests done per million, as on Tuesday was over 2.94 lakh while the total number of tests stood at over 55.9 lakh.

    The bulletin said that 4,52,683 patients have recovered, been discharged or migrated so far.

    Since September, daily cases had begun to rise in the city. From the last week of September, it had started to come down a bit.

    The number of people in home isolation dropped to 25,533 on Wednesday from 24,842 the previous day.

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