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States Increasingly Make Wearing Masks In Public Compulsory

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Many cities and even whole states are joining the list of those who have made it compulsory for anyone going out to wear masks.

Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Wednesday “Wearing of facial masks can reduce the spread of coronavirus substantially. Therefore, it has been decided that facial masks will be compulsory for anyone stepping out of their house. Cloth mask shall be eligible too.”

The Maharashtra government’s general administration department issued circular in which wearing of masks is compulsory for all staff in the Mumbai and Pune Metropolitan regions. “They must be worn from the time of entry to exiting a public office” stated in the circular.

Later on, Chief Minister of Punjab has also said that “Masks are compulsory in Punjab now. Health Secretary is issuing a detailed advisory for the people. Just remember to wear mask when you step out of home for any emergency/essentials. A piece of clean cloth is all you need. Let’s all stay safe and fight #Covid_19 together”.

The State Governments has made it mandatory for the people to wear masks as life saviour to themselves and to others amid the outbreak of pandemic Coronavirus in the country.

The District Magistrate, Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh has passed an order on 8th March, 2020 in view of mandatorily wearing of mask at public places as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 which will come into force by 9th of march, 2020. The order states that the general public as well as govt officials (Both Civilians and Armed Forces) shall mandatorily wear the mask at public places without any exemption and in case of violation, penal action under rules shall be taken against the violators.

State Government of Madhya Pradesh has also made it compulsory for the general public to wear masks amid COVID-19. The Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan put it as compulsion for wearing of masks before stepping out of the house, he further said that “ Even homemade masks can be used, but you must wear one”.

Subsequently, the General Administrative Department of Jammu & Kashmir Government has also issued order directing all the administrative secretaries to purchase masks so that three reusable masks for each employee in each department in the Secretariat would be provided.

“The general public is directed to cover their mouth and nose with any available form of mask white stepping out of house for any purpose. A handkerchief or any other piece of cloth in at least two layers can also be used for the purpose, until further orders.” as mentioned by Odisha State Government, through Revenue and Disaster Management Department in their order issued on 6th March, 2020 with effect from 7 am on April 9. In continuation, it states that in case people are using disposable/ single use masks, such masks shall be properly disposed of by following due procedure prescribed by Health & Family Welfare Department. Cloth masks should be cleaned with soap/ detergent disinfectant and water and sun dried for at least 5 hours after every single use. Masks used by one person must not be used by any other person.

The Government of UP has also stepped forward and a government order was issued which says that the wearing of masks had been made mandatory under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 along with the UP Epidemic Disease (COVID-19) Manual,2020 and only health workers should use N-95 masks and if such masks is not available, gamchhas, hankerchief or stoles could be used.

“Violators can be be punished under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), All persons will be moving for whatsoever purpose and under whatever reason authority in public place, like street, hospital, office, markets must be wearing three-ply mask or cloth mask compulsorily” directions issued in the order of BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation).”

“These masks may be standard mask available with the chemist or even homemade washable masks and can be reused after proper washing and disinfecting them,” the order added.

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