The Pune city police have stopped taking action against solo drivers without masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They have directed all personnel to stop imposing fines on solo drivers seen without masks while driving. However, many citizens complained that the police were imposing fines on solo drivers even when the car windows were rolled up, reported TOI.
A citizen said, “I had pulled the mask below my chin as I was alone in the car, when I was stopped. The police refused to listen my clarification and I had to pay the fine. Why don’t they act against the several people who can be seen standing by the roadside consuming food and beverages without masks?”
Last week, the Union Health Ministry had said that it is not necessary for solo drivers to wear a mask. Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan had said that there was no directive from them that people should wear masks when they are driving a car without any co-passengers.
He also said that the Health Ministry has not directed people cycling, exercising and jogging alone to wear a mask. However, he added that these activities are carried out in groups of two or more. Hence, people are required to wear a mask.
Meanwhile, joint commissioner of police Ravindra Shisve said that if police have taken action against the solo car occupants without masks, in last few days, they can approach police with their grievances.
On Tuesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits increased by 1,880, taking the total to 1,09,838.
35 deaths were recorded, taking the toll to 2,584.
A total of 2,022 people were discharged during the day. Now, more than 90,000 patients have been cured of the disease in the city.
According to Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, Pune has crossed the 5 lakh-mark of COVID-19 tests.