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Not able to send mask violators for COVID duty, state tells Gujarat High Court

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The state government on Tuesday submitted before the Gujarat High Court that it is unable to decide on the implementation of a punishment where repeated mask violators are sent for duty at COVID care centres.

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi submitted before the court that the state is unable to decide the hospitals and COVID centres where such violators should be sent and how to implement it.

The state said once a challan of COVId duty is issued to mask violators, it requires a mechanism to keep track of whether the violator has joined the duty or not. It said implementing the same required additional staff at a time when most state employees are already involved in various activities. 

The state is taking stricter actions and hopefully, the situation will improve, the advocate general argued.

He also told the court that the COVID situation in the state was improving in the last three days as the number of calls on the helpline – 104 and 108 have declined a bit. Also, the demand for oxygen cylinders has gone down during the same period.

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The state has put police personnel at every crossroads to ensure that the mask rule is not violated, he said.

After the state’s submission, Chief Justice Vikramnath said this is a very crucial time and the situation can improve or get worse after a week. The court is likely to pass the order by Wednesday. 

Background of the mask case

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed before the Gujarat High Court has sought that community service in COVID care centers (non-medical) be made mandatory for people who are repeatedly caught without a mask. 

The PIL by Vishwal Awtani before the Gujarat High Court said people are not taking the pandemic seriously and hence violators caught for not wearing a mask repeatedly should be asked to serve at COVID care centers for 10 to 15 days.

The PIL said that despite such offenders being fined, many still roam the city without a mask.

 

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