Bhubaneswar: With the rise in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, the Odisha government has made not wearing a mask in public an offence and decided to impose fines on offenders from Thursday.
The government has decided to impose fines on people for not wearing mask while stepping out of their houses.
The government will impose Rs 200 for not wearing masks for the first, second and third offence. The penalty will go up to Rs 500 for subsequent offence, said chief secretary Asit Tripathy.
The Health department has framed certain regulations in this regard amending the Odisha COVID-19 Regulations 2020.
The general public is directed to cover their mouths and noses with any available form of mask while stepping out of the house for any purpose.
The state government has also promulgated an ordinance with provision of imprisonment of upto two years for those who violate the epidemic regulations.
The ordinance has amended a section of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 said whoever contravenes or disobeys any regulation or order made under the principal Act is liable for imprisonment upto two years or with fine up to Rs 10,000 or both.
However, every offence under this Act shall be cognisable and bailable.
The amendment was necessitated to deal with procurement requirements entailing the spread of COVID-19, said sources.
Odisha has recorded 44 positive cases so far.