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‘Fine for No Mask & Surprise Visits’: New Covid Guidelines for Ahead of Festivals

Bengaluru: In advance of the festival season, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has updated its Covid-19 guidelines to help control crowding at marketplaces. Officials are being instructed to conduct surprise visits at places that are likely to see a lot of foot traffic. The BBMP chief commissioner has instructed zonal joint commissioners and health officers to spread awareness about Covid appropriate behavior, including social distancing, and ensure that people wear face masks in public. A fine of Rs 250 will be imposed on those venturing outside without a mask, according to the civic agency.

‘The most effective way to prevent Covid is to wear a mask. At major market areas in the BBMP limits, the public and merchants who do not wear masks will be fined Rs 250 per person. We will do surprise visits to shops, restaurants, market areas and malls to ensure that Covid-19 prevention measures are being followed,’ Gupta told. Several places within Bengaluru city limits reported large crowds during Varamahalaksmi Puja, Muharram and Onam.

Further, the BBMP has instructed officials to ensure that owners and employees of shops, restaurants, and malls wear masks and have been given at least the first dose of the Covid vaccine. Additionally, officials have been asked to ensure that commercial markets are closed and the curfew is enforced at night. Marshalls, senior health inspectors and junior health inspectors must make sure social distance is maintained in all markets within BBMP limits, the BBMP said.

As the festival season is about to begin in September and October, the city administration is preparing for preventative measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. In the last 24 hours, Bengaluru Urban recorded 327 positive cases, 318 discharges, and two deaths. Currently, 7,920 cases are active. The number of micro containment zones in the city has decreased to 130. Mahadevapura zone remains at the top of the list with 27 micro containment zones.

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Bengaluru had a positivity rate of 0.55 percent. Maharashtra and Kerala ranked first and second respectively in terms of new positive cases (19,3,6825) and discharges (19,4,20713) for the state. In terms of deaths, Karnataka ranks second (37,039) after Maharashtra. Bengaluru has administered 95,25,713 vaccine doses, ranking second among metropolitan cities in India.

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