Jail for 6 months, Rs 5,000 fine for not wearing mask in Uttarakhand

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Residents of Uttarakhand could be sent to jail for up to six months or be fined Rs 5,000 if they do not wear a mask in public places and flout rules of social distancing and quarantine, the state government has said.

This comes after Governor Baby Rani Maurya on Saturday gave her assent to the Uttarakhand Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, for amendment in the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

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Uttarakhand has become the third state in the country to make changes in the rules and regulations of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, after Kerala and Odisha to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

“After the Governor’s assent to the ordinance, the amendment was made in sections 2 and 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act after which the norms related to wearing face masks, maintaining social distance or quarantine would now be implemented in a more strict manner,” a government official privy to the development said on the condition of anonymity.

“The violator of the same could attract imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of Rs 5,000,” the official said.

The Uttarakhand government had declared Covid-19 outbreak in the state as an epidemic on March 14 following which it had brought the ordinance for amendment in the concerned act.

Earlier on Saturday, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat directed officials to audit every death related to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the state and analyse the reasons behind them.

Rawat gave the directions while evaluating the pandemic situation in the state during a meeting with all the 13 district magistrates through a video conference.

The chief minister also directed officials to resume the working of electric crematoriums in Haldwani and Haridwar apart from announcing a new one in Dehradun.

The Himalayan state has so far reported 23 Covid-19 related deaths with 1,785 patients till Saturday. Only one of these 23 deaths has been attributed directly to Covid-19, according to health officials.

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