Maharashtra government to launch awareness drive on use of masks in public places

The Maharashtra government will soon launch an awareness drive on the usage of masks in public places. This is to re-emphasise that the use of masks is a new normal as COVID-19 is still present. The government has issued a notification, saying that an awareness campaign was necessary. It was noticed, especially in towns and cities, that many people were not adhering to COVID-19 protocols after the unlock began.

Urban Development Department deputy secretary ST Jadhav said that if the people do not comply with these protocols, it will be difficult to combat the virus effectively. The state government proposes to implement an action plan, making it compulsory to wear masks in public spaces.

Municipal commissioners have been tasked with the job of running this campaign and also initiate punitive action in case of non-compliance. They have been asked to run campaigns in print, broadcast and social media and also put up banners at key spots with an appeal to the members of public to wear masks in public places.

The government expects civic chiefs to involve citizens in a big way in the awareness drive by taking new initiatives. They are also expected to conduct a special drive for No Mask, No Entry in their respective jurisdictions.

The state government’s move comes days after it capped the prices of masks. As reported by the Free Press Journal, an N-95 mask would cost between Rs 19 to Rs 45 depending on its kind. A 3-ply mask would cost Rs 4 and a 2-ply mask Rs 3. At present, an N-95 mask costs Rs 150 to Rs 600 in the market and a 3-ply mask costs anywhere between Rs 20 to Rs 40.

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