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Nagaland: 293 persons penalised for flouting Covid SOPs

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Apr 06, 2021 12:26 am
Kohima District Task Force
DTF members sensitising citizens on Covid-appropriate behaviour in Kohima, on Monday. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, April 5 (EMN)
: It’s been more than a year since the public has been sensitised on the need to follow safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but Kohima District Task Force (DTF) found citizens flouting even basic Covid-appropriate behaviours like wearing of mask, during a surprise check on Monday.

As many as 204 shopkeepers and taxi drivers were penalised for violating SOPs during the inspection which was carried out amid surge in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Nagaland, especially Kohima, over the last few days.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), N Bhavani told journalists at her office in Kohima on Monday that the exercise was conducted mainly to spread awareness on the need to use mask and that more such initiative would be conducted in future if required.

The second wave of Covid-19, especially in Nagaland’s Kohima is “increasing”, she said and lamented that people are hesitant to receive Covid vaccines even when it is being made available and at the same time not adhering to safety measures on the other.

Citizens violating Covid-appropriate behaviours could be fined according to the guidelines, but the ADC said that they didn’t penalise anyone (public) on the first day of inspection as the drive was mainly focused on spreading awareness among the people.

The Kohima DTF will be increase random testing on shopkeepers in few days’ time, she said adding that the discussion is going on.

Directorate of Health and Family Welfare had recently directed the District Task Forces to conduct random sampling and testing for screening of Covid-19 from time to time.

Sub-Divisional Officer, R Daniel Angami, who led the inspection drive in the main town area on Monday, said that ‘now is not the time for sensitising people about the pandemic or what the Covid-19 is doing’.

‘More or less, citizens should be aware of how to take care of themselves. Wearing a mask is one of the minimum requirements a person can do,’ he pointed out.

“For us to take to the street and tell people to wear mask is disappointing. But, with the surge of the second wave and rise in Covid-19 positive cases in Nagaland, we have to go back to people, tell them, plead with them to wear the mask,” Angami said.

He expressed hope that the exercise would send out a message to citizens, make them aware that wearing mask is the least they could do to prevent and fight the dreaded disease.

The officer further said that citizens who were caught without face masks either said “sorry”, “left it somewhere” or “it’s in their pockets or bags” when asked why they were not wearing it.

‘People are aware that they need to put on mask but it’s hard to tell why they are not doing it. It’s our job to sensitise and made them aware,’ he added.

The exercise was carried out at eight selected locations in Kohima town including office of the chief medical officer, district administration and Kohima police.

The eight selected locations were PHQ – BOC Junction, main town area, Keziekie – old truck parking, Razhü Point-Supermarket, Jail colony Jn., High School Jn. – Sanuorü Bridge, Mohonkhola – Dzüvürü Bridge, Pezielietsie (Tinpati-Census office road).

INR 29,100 collected

During the exercise, the Kohima DTF ensured that citizens wear masks distributing it to those without one. It also issued challans to shopkeepers and local taxi drivers who flouted the guidelines.

According to the report on enforcement of mandatory wearing of masks or Covid-19 protocols by the district administration, a total of 293 persons were penalised on Monday and fine amounting to INR 29,100 was collected from the defaulters.

Here are number of defaulters penalised in eight locations inspected: Mohonkhola – 46; PHQ – 43; Jail colony Jn. – NIL; Razhü Point – 49; main town area – 27; Keziekie – 28; High School Jn. – 50; and Pezielietsie – 50.

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Apr 06, 2021 12:26:57 am