The more apathy, the more fine: TN people will now have to pay more as fine for defying the mask mandate!

If you are living in Tamil Nadu and strolling the city by not wearing a mask, you now need to pay more as a fine as the health department has increased the fine amount for the violators amid the prevailing apathy and peaking Covid-19 cases with the hard-hitting third wave. The surge in the penalty amount has come when Chennai has been contributing majorly to the total caseload in Tamil Nadu.  

According to reports, the health department has announced that the people who are found not wearing a mask will be fined Rs 500. The penalty has been revised under the rules of the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939. The order was issued by health secretary J Radhakrishnan and the same has been published in the state gazette on Wednesday. The people who fail to wear the masks properly will also be brought under the ambit of violation and will be fined. 

A survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) last November has shown that the mask usage was 32% in slums and 35% in non-slums areas in public places including streets, markets, and bus stops. The Tamil Nadu government has also been ramping up the vaccination drive to cover more people and Chief Minister MK Stalin has asserted that his administration will stand with and support the Centre's measures in battling the pandemic. 

According to the Times of India, Tamil Nadu's Director of Public Health Dr TS Selva Vinayagam said, "When people step out, they must wear a proper mask. We have increased out vaccination coverage to a large extent and most of our people are fully vaccinated. While vaccination reduces the risk of disease and death, there is still a risk of infection." It must be noted that earlier, the people who had violated the norms by not wearing a mask were fined Rs 200. 

As per the media release by the health department, Tamil Nadu has reported 20,911 fresh Covid-19 cases, 6,235 discharges, and 25 deaths on Thursday- January 13. It is the first time in several months that the daily case count has breached the 20,000 mark. Overall, the state has recorded 28,68,500 cases so far as of Thursday of which 1,03,610 are active, 27,27,960 were recovered, and 36,930 had succumbed to the viral infection. Of the 20,911 fresh cases on Thursday, Chennai has reported 8,218 cases.