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Make masks compulsory in Assam: Gauhati HC

GUWAHATI: In the wake of sharp rise in cases of COVID19 infection in Assam since August, Gauhati High Court has directed Assam government to make it mandatory to wear mask and maintain social distance in public and impose fine in case of violation of these norms.
Assam Health Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday informed that Gauhati High Court had directed Deputy Commissioners and Superintendent of Police in all districts of the state to ensure people wear mask and maintain social distance in public places.
The Court has directed imposition of fine of Rs 500 per person without fail for the first offence in case someone is found violating the above COVD norms and the fine amount be doubled in case of second offence by the same person.
The High Court has also mentioned in the directive that it will monitor the amount of fine collected by the district administrations in this regard.
The Health Minister said that in the wake of the High Court directive the state government would launch a massive awareness drive to make people wear mask and maintain social distance in public places.
He said the government would consider to distribute face masks among the poor who can’t afford to buy one. Already Assam government had provided face masks to tea garden workers in the state.
Dismissing Opposition Congress’ apprehension that Assam government would cease to provide free treatment for COVID-19 pandemic because of financial stress, the Health Minister, Dr Sarma reiterated that though there has been certain modifications, the COVID19 treatment in government hospitals and COVID care centres in the state would remain free.
He mentioned the following modifications :
COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment in paying cabins of government hospitals would be charged for only the cabin rent while COVID treatment including medicines, plasma (if required), food etc. would be provided free of cost.
Government wouldn’t provide vehicles for dropping recovered patients home from COVUD acre centres/hospitals after their release within the district. However, vehicles will be provided for inter-district travel.
If any COVID19 patient undergoing treatment in private nursing homes wants plasma from government plasma bank, they will have to pay Rs 6500 for the plasma kit but not for the plasma.
If anyone wants result of RT-PCR test with 24 hours, it can be procured at Rs 2250 per test.

Source: The Shillong Times

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