Wrong ways of wearing a mask, reluctance to wear one and efficacy of the same. Our lives have been revolving around these questions for eight months now in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Ostensibly, it may appear that most people are not keen on masking up, but a survey done by the LocalCircles suggests otherwise.
As many as 88% of citizens are in favour of the government imposing heavier fines on those not wearing a mask. Suspension of DBT benefits and also Aadhaar card should be an option for those not wanting to wear a mask, indicates the survey.
This is interesting because most people around us are increasingly not wearing a mask. The survey has found that in a public market two out of 10 people do not even have a mask in their possession. Another five persons wear it wrong.
Only 12 % of the people surveyed said they do not want the government to make wearing a mask mandatory. Of the 88% people who agreed to mandatory wearing of masks many said punishment -- a jail term on the second offence -- is also required. Many said that punitive action by way of fines should be as heavy as Rs 10,000.
At present, the Delhi Epidemic Diseases (Management of Covid-19) Regulations 2020, have been issued under the Epidemic Diseases Act which allow authorities to impose a fine of Rs 500 for the first time and Rs 1,000 for a repeated violation of the guidelines. The regulations mandate wearing a face mask/cover in all public places/work places.
The Union Health Ministry has clarified that there is no directive from it on wearing a mask when a person is in a car alone. But the traffic police can still impose a fine if the car has more than one person.
The survey was done in 202 districts of India. As many as 71% of those surveyed were men, 29% were women with 59% of the respondents being from tier 3 and 4 towns and rural districts.