Over 20,000 persons fined for violating COVID guidelines in public places
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Over 20,000 persons fined for violating COVID guidelines in public places

More than 20,000 people were fined in the summer capital Srinagar on Monday for violation of the COVID19 lockdown in public places, authorities said.

The violations include not wearing masks at public places and violating social distancing norms. Shopkeepers who had not kept hand sanitizers for use by customers were also fined.

Executive Magistrate, South Srinagar Peerzada Fayaz Ahmad Baba said over 20,000 people were fined  across the city for violation of the COVID19 protocol in public places.

An official said the fined charged ranged from Rs 100 to Rs 500.

The official said a massive campaign was carried out in south of Srinagar to educate people about need to follow protocols to prevent spread of COVID19.

He said different teams from district administration also used public addressing system to educate and warn people and traders against violation of the guidelines.

Baba said in most city markets, traders were following SOPs strictly. "It was satisfying to see that traders have also pasted posters at entrance of shops, asking customers to not enter without wearing mask," he said.

Baba said some traders have also kept masks available and provide them free of cost to customer.

"These traders don't allow customers to enter into business units until they wear mask. This is a good way to encourage people to follow SOPs," Baba said.

Some teams from district administration also visited markets at Kothibagh, Ghata Ghar (Clock Tower), Maisuma and adjacent markets.

Baba said in many other cases violators were let off with a warning to strictly follow the health advisories. "Sometimes a violation isn't willful," Baba said.

The markets in summer capital Srinagar reopened partially from June 13, first time since the lockdown was imposed on March 20.

The district administration had announced unlocking Srinagar after holding detailed discussion with all stakeholders including trade and business organizations.

The traders have assured administration that all SOPs will be strictly followed. Most stressed and mandatory SOPs included wearing masks and following social distancing norms.

The administration had sought recommendations from experts in the health department before devising protocols and finalizing the phase-wise opening of markets in Srinagar.

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