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Wear a mask or else pay the fine says CP Manish Kumar Sinha


With the spike in covid-19 cases continues to loom over the Vizag city, the district administration including police have made wearing face masks mandatory to prevent, treat, and cure COVID-19. But for some, wearing a face mask has become a bone of contention for the moment. The result has been dirty looks, angry words and at times verbal spat.

The compliance of the wearing mask, which is considered to be a significant Covid-19 appropriate behaviour has come down in the city recent past. In spite of the rising daily caseload of coronavirus, not many appear to pay heed to safety protocols. In many cases, it is found people step out carrying a mask, it is often seen hanging around their ears or chin or neck or tucked inside a pocket. On top of that, people coughing and sneezing without a mask in the crowded markets will continue to pose an even larger risk.

The city police administration is leaving no stone unturned in spreading the awareness drives about the importance of following safety protocols including wearing masks to stem the spread of Covid-19. Speaking to Hello Vizag, Vizag police chief Manish Kumar Sinha said a large number of pedestrians and those travelling on bikes were told to use masks in public as a social responsibility. As of 9th April, the city police wing, including law and order, crime, traffic and AR force, booked 50,037 cases against people for not wearing masks. We will continue to pursue the mask enforcement drive in order to bring more awareness and compliance to the protocol and to ensure appropriate behaviour by the public at large.

“The district administration has attempted to keep people safe by the simple requirement to wear a face-covering to protect others,” said Naidana Varma, a septuagenarian. “People are so self-absorbed that they refuse to follow what is a simple show of respect and kindness to others. What a distressing and unfortunate times, we are living in,” Mr Varma added. For some people, wearing masks seems uncomfortable and thus a nuisance they were unwilling to tolerate.

But for Ravi, it’s a horror both at the sight of public places where people have crowded without masks before liquor shops breaking social distancing norms. Amid the rising temperatures, all drinking enthusiasts forgot there is a virus on the prowl waiting to hold their bodies hostage. Of course, you can drown your sorrows in liquor, but the virus can drown both you and that alcohol you gulp down into massive health miseries” added Ravi.

Health experts opine that this is indeed a very dangerous sign. We are still under the grip of the second wave of covid-19 and there is a need to consider every safety protocol as seriously as it was followed last year. Speaking to Hello Vizag, Malladi S Sharma, in charge of Covid Care Centres, said although people are getting vaccinated but they are not supposed to lower their guard. The need of the hour is donning a mask appropriately, following hand hygiene and maintaining social distance are the basic preventive measures adopted to contain the spread of the virus.

KVV Vijay Kumar, Superintendent of the Government Hospital for Chest and Communicable Diseases, said that earlier, senior citizens used to be at a greater risk. But now, even younger people are getting infected. A number of people in the same family are getting infected. So, he stresses strict compliance with Covid-19 guidelines and recommends avoiding congregations.

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