No fear of pandemic? Amritsar residents flout mask guidelines with impunity

No fear of pandemic? Amritsar residents flout mask guidelines with impunity

A large number of residents without face masks at Heritage Street in Amritsar on Sunday. tribune photo: Vishal Kumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 9

Residents can be seen flouting Covid-19 guidelines with impunity as can be seen from large number of residents and devotees moving openly about market places without masks.

A visit to different markets of the city on Sunday revealed that hundreds of people were oblivious to the risk and were not careful about following the government guidelines.

Residents complained that wearing a mask in hot, humid weather was uncomfortable. The government had earlier increased the fine for not wearing mask at public places to Rs500 from Rs200.

However, it failed to motivate people to increase the use of masks at public places and instead led to criticism, as single occupants of four-wheelers were issued challans.

“Most people wear mask due to the fear of challans. There has been a lack of public participation in the fight against the disease,” said a shopkeeper near Dharam Singh Market. The shopkeeper said: “We see hundreds of people roaming in the streets without masks every day. Some do not even care about social distancing norms and make others uncomfortable.”

Even though the market places are not allowed to open on Sundays, except for shops selling essential items, a large number of people can be seen roaming around.

Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira said: “Covid-19 cases are rapidly increasing in the district and it indicates that people are not following safety guidelines. The public should abide by the guidelines as medical research has established that wearing a mask helps in containing the spread of the disease.”

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