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DDMA meeting on Wednesday, likely to discuss compulsory use of masks

In light of the rising number of infections in recent days, a major meeting of the DDMA on Wednesday is expected to discuss mandatory usage of face masks and a hybrid form of offline and online instruction for schoolchildren, according to official sources. As per the meeting notification, the COVID situation in the national capital would be reviewed at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal. After the DDMA removed a fine of Rs 500 earlier this month, the use of masks by persons in Delhi has “significantly” decreased. Given the increased number of infections, this is not a desirable situation, according to a senior government official.

The mandatory mask use in Delhi is most likely to be discussed during the meeting, with reimposing fines for its strict implementation,” said the officer, citing the UP-government’s decision today to make it mandatory for residents of six NCR cities in the state.

Due to an increase in Covid cases in some neighbouring states, the Uttar Pradesh government made it mandatory for people to wear a face mask in public areas in the capital Lucknow and six NCR districts, including Noida and Ghaziabad, on Monday, an official said. In light of concerns of children becoming infected, the DDMA conference could also discuss giving schools the choice of using both offline and online teaching methods, according to sources.

Following a surge in Covid cases, schools throughout Delhi-NCR have jumped into action, implementing a variety of measures, including periodic sanitization, to keep the virus at bay and avert campus closure. At a time when scores of students and workers at institutes across the NCR cities have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the Haryana education department has instructed schools in the state not to make it essential for pupils to attend physical classes. In the city, the number of pupils testing positive for drugs is on the rise, causing anxiety among parents. Wherever any student or teacher is confirmed infected, the Delhi government has directed school officials to close specific wings or classes.

Though the number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital is increasing, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain remarked earlier in the day that the situation is not serious because the incidence of hospitalisation is low. He stated that the government is monitoring the issue. He also emphasised the importance of wearing face masks, despite the fact that the penalties for not doing so had been withdrawn.

“In Delhi, the number of positive cases has been increasing. However, we have completed 100% immunisation, and the (corona) virus has already infected a big number of individuals. In addition, there aren’t many hospitalizations. As a result, the situation is not frightening. We’re keeping a close eye on everything” Jain said in a briefing. When asked about the rise in COVID-19 cases among children, the minister said the Delhi government has already issued an advisory instructing schools to halt specific classes for a few days if any student or teacher tests positive for the coronavirus.

Source: PTI

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