Hours before the Bengali New Year, Kolkata Police launched a publicity drive to ensure every person on the street wore a mask. Several persons, who were caught not wearing one, were either presented one like at Ballygunge Phari or taken to the police station and counselled. In several other places — like in Esplanade and Central Avenue — cops distributed masks, and specially made face shields.
“We took to massive campaigning so everyone wears a mask. This will continue for another day before we carry out arrests under IPC 188,” said an IPS officer. Subhankar Sinha Sarkar, joint CP (headquarters) told TOI that they have also increased naka points in the city. “We analysed the detailed reports from divisional DCPs. We arranged for more nakas to implement lockdown better,” he added.
Police sources said they are happy with the city’s response to the government order asking everyone to wear something to protect his or her face. “We found almost 95% people covering their mouth or faces. This cannot be merely through enforcement on the very first day, but awareness. The only aberrations were perhaps an odd citizen and mainly those dwelling on the streets. For all those who cannot afford a mask, we distributed a few for free,” said an officer.
In an order issued by chief secretary Rajiva Sinha on Sunday, the state government said it is critical to adopt “all possible measures for saving people from exposure to coronavirus” and added that it “shall be mandatory to use this cover always, especially in public places”. Any violation is likely to attract a penalty.
Source: Times of India