New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced that the government has increased the fine from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000 for not wearing masks in public places across the national capital. Kejriwal also urged the people in Delhi to celebrate Chhath Puja inside their homes and not in any pond or river.

"In Delhi, a large number of people are wearing masks but still some are not wearing them. A fine of Rs 2,000 will be imposed on anyone who is found not wearing a mask at a public place. Till now it was Rs 500. If you wear a mask, there are fewer chances of people contracting COVID-19. I appeal to all religious, social organisations and political parties to distribute masks," Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said as quoted by news agency ANI. 

Further appealing to people to celebrate Chhath Puja at home as allowing celebrations in ponds and rivers for the festival may cause a further spike in coronavirus cases.

"We want our brothers and sisters to celebrate Chhath Puja very nicely. Please celebrate but if 200 people enter into a pond at a time, and even if just one of them has COVID-19, all of them will contract the infection. This is also the opinion of experts. We should celebrate this time at our home. Several governments have also banned this.

"You can imagine that COVID-19 will be spread on a large scale. So, celebrations are not banned. What is banned is the entering of a large number of people in a pond or river at once. Let's celebrate at homes", Kejriwal added. 

Addressing a press conference after the conclusion of all-party meet called by him yesterday to discuss the COVID-19 situation, Kejriwal said that all the parties agreed that this is the time for all of us to become one and serve the people of Delhi.

"They gave us suggestions and we will look into it. I told all parties in the meet that it is a difficult time for the people of Delhi when COVID cases are rising. It is not the time for politics, there is an entire lifetime for it. We should set aside politics and allegations for a few days. This is the time to serve people," he said.

Posted By: Talib Khan