To encourage Covid-19 appropriate behaviour among people of the state, Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday directed the officers concerned to provide at least five free masks to those found without face cover in public and also start the drive of imposing a fine on those who are found without masks. This apart, proactive strategies should be made to effectively combat the spread of novel Coronavirus in the state.

While again appealing to the people of the state to wear masks whenever they venture out, Khattar said, “Though vaccination for Covid- 19 has been rolled out but still we should religiously follow all the guidelines like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing to stay safe and to ensure containment of virus spread”. The CM gave these directions while presiding over a review meeting regarding Covid-19 held with administrative secretaries here today.

During the meeting, Khattar directed officers to ramp up Covid-19 management preparations coupled with aggressive surveillance, stringent containment, swift contact tracing, focused clinical management along with proactive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities.

“Radio jingles, publicity campaigns regarding Covid- 19 guidelines like wearing masks, sanitizing hands and social distancing should be followed meticulously. Besides this, physical checking of the industries and enforcement of Covid precautions and guidelines at public places like malls, eating joints, bus stands, schools, colleges etc should also be done regularly. The sanitisation system should be also strengthened at these places along with the distribution of masks,” directed the CM.

During the meeting, additional chief secretary, health and family welfare, Rajeev Arora said on an average 15,000 to 18,000 daily Covid tests are being conducted in Haryana. The test positivity rate on a weekly basis is less than one per cent. At present, there are 1205 active Covid cases in Haryana.

Meanwhile, Haryana Police on Monday launched a twoweek special campaign to educate the public about wearing of face masks by citizens across the state, and also to enforce it strictly.

Disclosing this today, additional Director General of Police (law and order), Navdeep Singh Virk said that in view of the recent spurt in Covid-19 infections, and the casual attitude seen amongst people these days, the state police are starting another two week campaign to make people aware of the risk of infection. The campaign started from 1 March and will continue upto 16 March. He said that special focus would be on high risk public places with large footfalls like markets, bus stands, taxi stands, and parks etc where the norms are being seen to be flouted.