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People caught without face masks forced to sweep streets in Madagascar

Around 500 people in Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa were penalised on Monday.

April 28, 2020 / 07:38 PM IST
Man sweeps the street in downtown Antananarivo. (AFP)

Man sweeps the street in downtown Antananarivo. (AFP)

Madagascar police on Monday forced citizens, who were caught outside without a face mask, to sweep pavements, law enforcement officials said. According to AFP's report, authorities warned that citizens leaving the house without face masks would face community service.

President Andry Rajoelina made face masks mandatory in the capital Antananarivo, as well as in the cities of Fianarantsoa and Toamasina, to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The new rule, which came into force on Monday, was announced on April 20 alongside the gradual lifting of lockdown measures in the three main cities.

“Seventy percent of people on the street respected the rule... because they are scared of having to sweep pavements,” the head of anti-coronavirus operations, general Elak Olivier Andriakaja, said, adding that measures were to raise awareness and distribute mouth covers.

Around 500 people in Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa were penalised on Monday, said police deputy head Christian Rakotobe.

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Antananarivo commissioner Hector Razafindrazaka said that 25 people were sentenced on the spot and forced to sweep the capital's dusty streets. Pictures of offenders sweeping streets went viral on social media.

The Indian Ocean island-nation has detected 128 cases of coronavirus. No fatalities have been recorded so far and 75 patients have recovered.

first published: Apr 28, 2020 07:38 pm