The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has decided to impose fines ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 50,000 on street vendors, neighbourhood shops, supermarkets, malls, etc, if their owners and employees are found without face masks, The Times of India has reported.
The move has been taken in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Ahmedabad city, the worst-affected by COVID-19 in Gujarat.
The AMC has also decided to suspend licences of shops for three months whose owners and employees are found working without masks from May 1, besides the fine, said the report.
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Earlier, the municipal body used to fine Rs 1,000 for the first offence and Rs 5,000 for subsequent offences of not wearing masks, said the report adding that this range of fine was applicable to all.
However, under the new rules, shops, vendors, malls etc, will be covered. Also, shopkeepers will also have to ensure that not only their staff but customers also wear masks and sanitise their hands, the report said.
The COVID-19 death toll in Ahmedabad has so far reported at 137, while the number of cases has increased to 2,777, according to the state government’s website.
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City civic authorities said the high number of deaths can be avoided if positive patients get admitted to hospitals as soon as they develop symptoms of the infection.
If a person experiences any symptoms of COVID-19, he or she should immediately rush to a civic hospital. It is important to seek timely treatment if lives are to be saved," said municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra.
The civic body will distribute masks and sanitisers to vendors and shop owners who supply essential items, he said.
(With inputs from PTI)Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.