City News

44 people fined Rs22,000 in two districts for not wearing masks

Following Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani’s orders to the deputy commissioners of the six districts of the city to fine every citizen Rs500 if they are found in public without a mask, 44 people have been fined Rs22,000 in two districts.

Moreover, 12 businesses have also been sealed while three others have been fined Rs20,000 in the Central and South districts during routine inspections to check violations of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Central district

On Friday District Central Deputy Commissioner Bux Dharejo had ordered sealing four wedding halls, a shop and two hotels in his jurisdiction, besides fining 28 people Rs14,000 for not wearing masks.

He said they had also distributed around 13,000 masks among the public and counselled them about the importance of masks. He believes that fines do not make as much of a difference as talking to the people about the issue does.

“When we tell them that wearing masks will not only keep them safe but also their loved ones, they understand and vow to wear masks the next time.”

As for the fines, he said that they were mostly collected in markets from shopkeepers and customers who were not wearing masks. “When the public doesn’t listen to reason, we’ll be left with no option but to fine them.”

South district

On Saturday District South Deputy Commissioner Irshad Ali Sodhar inspected 38 restaurants, issued warnings to 17 and sealed two. Out of the three schools he visited, one was sealed and one was issued with a warning. A bakery was also sealed and a milk shop was fined Rs5,000. A travel agency in the district was fined Rs5,000, two garment shops were fined Rs10,000 and a cinema was sealed. Sixteen people were also fined Rs8,000 for not wearing masks.

Sodhar said the Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC) was sealed after an inspection by the district administration found that no social distancing was being observed there and hardly any member of the audience was wearing a mask, while the programme being conducted had extended beyond the 10pm deadline.

Due to the fear of the second wave of the novel coronavirus hitting Karachi, the commissioner’s office on Friday made wearing masks in public compulsory across the city. Shallwani directed all the six deputy commissioners of the city to make sure that citizens wear masks in public.

He had ordered the deputy commissioners to ensure that citizens wear masks when they are outside their homes. For those found without masks, he directed the deputy commissioners to take action against them and fine them Rs500 each.

According to an order issued by city commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani on Friday, a person outside home without a mask will be liable to a fine of Rs500 in Karachi. As per a press statement from the commissioner office, due to the fear of a second wave of the novel coronavirus, the wearing of masks has been made compulsory in Karachi.

The commissioner directed all six deputy commissioners of the city to make sure that citizens are wearing masks. “The deputy commissioners need to make sure that citizens when outside mandatorily wear masks. For those found without masks, they’re directed to take action against them and impose a fine of Rs500.”

The commissioner also asked the shopkeepers and the traders to make sure that in markets and shops, all SOPs were implemented and social distancing is adopted.

He asked the shopkeepers to not allow shoppers inside their shops or markets without masks. The commissioner directed the deputy commissioners to take strict action against shopkeepers and traders found violating the SOPs.

Shops sealed

The south deputy commissioner, Irshad Ali Sodhar, fined and sealed nine shops in the district for violating SOPs.

He visited the district along with assistant commissioner of the Civil Lines area and Aram Bagh. He directed the shopkeepers and the restaurant owners to wear masks and make sure that their customers also had their faces covered with masks, besides following other SOPs.

He said if traders and shopkeepers failed to follow the SOPs, more strict action would be taken against them. He said only by wearing masks and adopting social distancing, the viral disease could be curbed.

“The current situation is a challenge for us, for which we will take measures on a war footing basis,” he said adding that without public support, the implementation of SOPs could not be possible.

“To control the virus,” he said, “every person must wear a mask and use sanitizer.

Last week, fourteen eateries and two amusement arcades were sealed in District South for violating the SOPs devised by the government in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Serena mobile market was sealed for a day over non-compliance with the mandatory SOPs.

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