Indian Railways extends Covid SOP for 6 months, announces fine for not wearing masks
- Under the standard operation procedure (SOP) for movement of trains, the railways had mandated that "all passengers shall be wearing face cover/mask at entry and during travel".
The Railway Board has extended its current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) guidelines for another six months amid a sustained decline in fresh infections nationwide. In the new order, the board stated that anyone found violating the mask mandate in railway premises or during travel can be fined up to ₹500.
In April, Indian Railways had first announced a fine of ₹5,00 for violating the mask mandate owing to the second wave of Covid-19 when the country was reporting more than 200,000 new infections each day. Under the standard operation procedure (SOP) for movement of trains, the railways had mandated that "all passengers shall be wearing face cover/mask at entry and during travel".
The fine for mask mandate violation was supposed to be in place till September but has now been extended for another six months.
"Now, the matter has been reviewed and it has now been decided that the validity of the said instruction is further extended by six (6) months i.e. up to 16.04.2022 or till further instructions issued in this regard," the order reads.
India reported 22,431 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, according to the ministry of health and family welfare. With active cases accounting for 0.72% of the total cases, India active caseloads stand at 2,44,198, the lowest in 204 days. Union health ministry official told a press conference that on average, 20,000 Covid cases have been recorded daily last week, of which 56% cases were reported from Kerala.
Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, informed that Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Karnataka have over 10,000 active Covid cases. He said that the overall positivity rate of the country was nearly at 1.68% last week as compared to that of 5.86% in the previous week.
Meanwhile, India’s cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 92.63 crores on Wednesday after 43,09,525 doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
(With inputs from agencies)