Sharmili Mallick

Ganjam: With an aim to limit the spread of coronavirus in Ganjam, the district administration has decided to impose fine on people for not using masks/handkerchiefs while stepping out of their houses during lockdown.

The Ganjam district Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange on Sunday said that the violators in urban areas would be fined Rs 1,000 and those in rural areas will have to pay Rs 500.

“If anyone is found stepping outside without mask, handkerchief or scarf, then he/she will be penalised with Rs 1,000 in urban areas and Rs 500 in rural areas. Use of mask, handkerchief or scarf is mandatory,” ordered Kulange.

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Kulange further ordered those found roaming on the streets without any reason would be taken into custody and put under 14-day quarantine.

If social distancing norms are violated near any shop, action will be taken against the concerned shopkeeper, added the district collector.

Worth mentioning, Ganjam is the first district which will penalise people for not wearing mask, as one of its measure to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Earlier on Sunday, the district administration declared Matia Sahi village under Baghalati Gram Panchayat in Kukudakhandi block as COVID-19 hotspot. The move came as a precautionary measure after 130 migrant workers returned the village from COVID hotspots in Bhubaneswar.

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The movement of vehicles and people have also been completely restricted in the area, however, home delivery of essentials will be ensured.

The Block Development Officer(BDO) of Kukudakhandi has been instructed to ensure home delivery of essential commodities to people of Matia Sahi during the lockdown period.Any person violating the lockdown will be taken to a compulsory quarantine facility at NIST by the Executive Magistrate, said reports.

Till date, no person from the village has been tested positive with coronavirus.

The district administration had imposed partial shutdown in the district from Saturday. As per the direction, grocery and vegetable shops will remain open between 7 AM and 12 PM.