Not wearing a mask? You will now be fined in Tamil Nadu: Here's how much you have to pay!

As India has been witnessing a surge in Covid cases, several states are reinforcing the mask mandate and the Covid protocols in their respective territories. After the sharp decline in fresh cases across India for the past two months that led to the lifting up of the lockdown and strict containment measures, the country has now been recording a gradual rise in the cases and the Union government has instructed the states with high caseloads to take preventive measures. 

Though Tamil Nadu has a Covid tally that is not in a cause of concern, the state government has been initiating the measures to address the spread and it has been instructing the people to adhere to the basic Covid protocols including wearing masks and observing social distancing. Earlier, the state health minister has asked the people to wear masks in public places. He said that the penalty won't be levied on the defiers but people should have the self-awareness that they should fear a mask. 

Days after his statement, the Tamil Nadu Health Department has now brought back the mask mandate in the state and that the people who fail to wear masks would be fined. On Friday - April 22, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that Rs 500 will be fined to the people who were found not wearing a mask in public places. He further said that the district administrations are being directed to enforce the penalty on the people and to take adequate measures to curb the Covid spread. 

Tamil Nadu is also been gearing up to conduct mega vaccination camps to administer the Covid vaccines to the people. On Friday, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that the mega vaccination camps will be held at over one lakh places across the state on May 8 from 7 am to 7 pm. The health department has been pacing up the measures to enhance the medical infrastructure by stocking up the necessary medical equipment to treat the Covid patients. 

On Friday, J Radhakrishnan had inspected Omandurar Government Hospital in Chennai and taken stock of the situation on whether the equipment like oxygen machines are kept ready to accommodate and treat the patients as he had already said that the cases may increase in Tamil Nadu in the coming days. According to the Union Health Ministry, India has reported 2,451 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours till 8 am on Friday. 

The fresh tally had taken the total Covid tally to 4,30,52,425 and the country's active cases stand at 14,421. India has also reported 54 deaths, which took the total death toll to 5,22,116. According to the Tamil Nadu Health Department, the state has reported 39 fresh cases, 26 discharges, and zero deaths on Thursday. Overall, Tamil Nadu has recorded 34,53,390 cases so far as of Thursday of which 256 are active, 34,15,109 were recovered, and 38,025 had died due to viral infection.