Madhya Pradesh has nearly 15,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases (File)
People found without face masks and acting in violation of the government's COVID-19 prevention guidelines in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior will be forced to work as "volunteers" at hospitals and police check-posts for at least three days.
An order to this effect was issued by Gwalior District Collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh, after a meeting with officials regarding the "Kill Corona" campaign.
"We have started execution of this from today (Monday). If they won't follow COVID guidelines they will have to perform duties of coronavirus warriors. They will have to work as volunteers for three days in hospitals and police check-posts," Mr Singh told NDTV.
Under the National Directives for COVID-19 management, in force since the lockdown was ordered in March, face masks must be worn at all times while in public or at a workplace. It is also mandatory to follow social distancing norms and there are restrictions on different types of public gatherings.
Madhya Pradesh has nearly 15,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, including 608 deaths linked to the virus. The Gwalior district reported 64 new cases on Sunday - its biggest single-day increase - taking the total number of cases to 528.
Against the backdrop of a steady increase in COVID-19 cases, both in Gwalior and across Madhya Pradesh, the government launched a special campaign on July 1.
Under the "Kill Corona" campaign teams of medical professionals and officials will conduct a door-to-door survey for 15 days to identify and isolate COVID-19 patients.
A total of 11,458 teams, equipped with non-contact thermometers, pulse oximeters and protective gear, have been deployed across Madhya Pradesh for this purpose.
Several other states have also resorted to disciplinary measures to enforce COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
For example, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi have all warned of a fine and possible jail time if people venture into public spaces without masks.
Amid a steady and worrying surge in new infections India moved past Russia on Sunday as the third worst-hit country in this coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly seven lakh COVID-19 cases have been reported since the outbreak began in China in December last year, with 19,693 deaths linked to the virus.