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Delhi quadruples fines for not wearing face masks as coronavirus cases soar in winters

Fines quadrupledBCCL - Non Copyright
Fines quadrupled
According to a report by AFP, officials in India's capital on November 19 quadrupled the fines dished out for people not wearing face masks as coronavirus cases soared in the megacity, overwhelming hospitals and graveyards even as the government resisted calls for another lockdown.
On a war footingANI
On a war footing
The penalty hike to 2,000 rupees announced by New Delhi's chief minister came as India's total coronavirus caseload neared nine million, the second-highest in the world. "At times when words alone don't do the trick, we have to get a bit tougher," chief minister Arvind Kejriwal told a news conference, also tweeting that the city of 20 million was on a "war footing".
Another incoming surgePTI
Another incoming surge
Few people wear masks - particularly outside major cities - and in recent weeks shoppers have thronged markets in preparations for a series of festivals. Though new cases in India have dipped to less than half in recent weeks from a peak of 100,000 infections a day in September, authorities fear a surge in coming weeks.
Record riseANI
Record rise
In Delhi, almost 500,000 people have been fined since June for not wearing masks, 370,000 for ignoring social distancing rules and 3,500 for spitting. This week the number of cases in the metropolis passed half a million, with a record rise in daily cases and deaths.
Choking hazeBCCL - Non Copyright
Choking haze
Over 90 percent of Delhi intensive care beds with ventilators were occupied as on Thursday, a government mobile app showed. The problem has been exacerbated by choking haze and pollution which grips the city this time each year.


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