COVID-19 tests for those who do not pay fines, in Vellore

The Vellore Corporation has said those who do not pay fines for violating rules such as wearing of masks and maintaining physical distancing, are asked to undergo a COVID-19 test

In a move to ensure people follow safety norms during the pandemic, the Vellore Corporation staff have started sending people for COVID-19 tests if they do not cough up fines for not wearing a mask, or for failing to follow physical distancing norms.

The Health Department has passed an order recently stating that a fine of ₹5,000 would be imposed on those violating the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued for salons and spas, gymnasiums, commercial establishments and other public places.

It also added that those not wearing a face mask in public places will have to pay ₹200. Those spitting in public places and violating distancing norms will have to pay ₹500 as a fine.

In Vellore Corporation, there are 60 wards and four zones. “We started implementing the fines more than a fortnight ago. Till now we have collected ₹4.10 lakh from individuals who do not wear masks or follow physical distancing norms. A total of ₹2.27 lakh has been collected from shops and establishments that violate the rules,” said an official from the Corporation.

An official from Zone 2, said that those who do not pay fines for violating the safety norms are asked to undergo a COVID-19 test. “This is just to create awareness. Fearing tests, many will start wearing masks when they step out of their houses. Despite sufficient awareness campaigns, some people do not follow safety measures and put their lives and those of others at risk,” said the official.

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