Bhubaneswar, Apr 9 (PTI) With the rise in coronavirus cases in the state, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday appealed to people to make it a habit to wear a mask and to follow the COVID-19 protocol.
Patnaik on Friday announced the launch of 'Mask abhijan' for 14-days while addressing the people of the state through a video message.
He said wearing a mask and following COVID-19 protocol is the only way out to get rid of the highly infectious disease which made a comeback after its initial phase.
On the 'Mask Abhijan', Patnaik said it will be observed for 14 days from Friday when everybody needs to properly wear the mask and not to jettison the mask.
'We all should take a pledge to wear masks for at least 14 days which may be a matter of habits. Therefore, I urge the people not to go outside without wearing masks. Wear a mask properly by covering your mouth and nose, we can curb the spread of COVID-19 without any lockdown or loss of livelihood,' the chief minister said.
He said that penalty for violation of mandatory mask wearing norms will be doubled and urged women to ensure that their family members, especially children, wear masks properly before going out of the house.
He said the police are alert and ensuring that anyone coming out of their houses wears a mask. 'The police are guarding outside and I appeal to mothers to take care of their homes by ensuring that all the family members wear masks,' he said.
'Everybody including those who have been vaccinated, must wear mask,' Patnaik said, adding that irrespective of one being vaccinated or not he/she should wear a mask.
Noting that mask is the shield against the coronavirus, Patnaik said: 'We can easily contain the second wave of the infection by wearing masks, hand washing and adhering to the protocols instead of going for lockdown, shutdown and other stricter measures.' The chief minister said that the lockdown, shutdowns and other measures have adverse impact on the livelihood of the masses. 'If you want your livelihood to function without any disruption, then you must wear masks,' he said.
'While some countries are presently facing the third wave of COVID-19, we are not sure as to how many waves are in store for us. Therefore, we need to make masks a part of our lifestyle and habit,' the chief minister said seeking cooperation of one and all in order to win over the pandemic.
Odisha's COVID-19 tally soared to 3,46,808 as the state registered this year's highest single-day spike of 1,282 new cases on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Odisha police have acted against 21,201 violators for COVID inappropriate behaviour like not using face masks or maintaining social distances.
The police have collected fines to the tune of Rs 51.69 lakh in 48 hours since the enforcement drive began on April 7 and will continue till April 14.
According to a release issued by the state police headquarters here on Friday, the enforcement parties have detected 9,400 violators on the first day of the drive and 11,801 violators were apprehended on the second day.
Similarly, on Day-1, a fine of Rs 25.07 lakh was collected from the violators and on Day-2, the fine amount was Rs 26.61 lakh.
A fine of Rs 2000 will be imposed for the first and second offence and Rs 5000 for the subsequent offence. PTI AAM COR RG RG