Hyderabad: The Telangana State (TS) Government on Saturday issued orders making it mandatory to wear masks in public places, workspaces, and public means of transport across the state.
The Telangana State government has also imposed restrictions on public gatherings, congregations, rallies, and processions during the upcoming religious events to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
The orders were issued by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on Saturday following an increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases across the state for the past few days.
Somesh Kumar issued directions to collectors, district magistrates, commissioners, and superintendents of police urging them to ensure strict implementation of the rule.
Violators who do not follow the rule of wearing face masks will be prosecuted under Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and also under Section 188 of IPC as well as other applicable laws.
Punishment and penalties under these sections include but are not limited to the imposition of a fine, imprisonment up to two years, or both, while Section 188 of the IPC will attract imprisonment up to six months, a fine up to Rs 1,000, or both.
It is worth mentioning here that the Telangana State Police during lockdown last year, had made use of Artificial Intelligence to detect those who aren't wearing masks in public by analyzing CCTV footage and had booked cases against them. It is not clear whether it will be repeated this time.
As of last week, police were only issuing a warning to those not complying with the rule of mandatory face masks, but from this week onwards the violators will face charges.
The Telangana government has also decided not to allow public celebrations in the state during the upcoming religious events, such as Shab-e-Barat, Holi, Ugadi (Telugu New Year), Rama Navami, Mahavir Jayanti, Good Friday, Ramzan, and others till April 30th.
The Telangana State has issued these rules and regulations as they noticed a spike in the fresh Covid-19 cases as many appear to be taking it lightly despite repeated warnings from the health authorities on Covid-19 safeguards.