The Tamil Nadu police have filed over 6,61,944 lakh cases (in the past three weeks) against people who failed to wear masks across the State.
What are the punishments for violating Covid-19 rules?
Some of the punishments are:
|Intentionally doing an unlawful or negligent act which is likely to spread the infection of any life-threatening disease.
||Jail time up to six months and/or a fine.
|Knowingly disobeying a public servant’s lawful order restricting the person from committing a certain act.
||If it causes danger to human life, health or safety – Jail time up to six months and/or a fine up to Rupees one thousand.
What are the Government’s powers under the law?
The Central and State Governments have the power to take special measures and prescribe regulations to prevent the spread of a dangerous epidemic disease or disaster. The Government can take several actions to control the spread of the Covid-19 disease by restricting spread and movement by enforcing lockdowns or curfews. For example, the Government can regulate interstate travel in India.
How does the Government impose lockdowns during Covid-19?
The Government can use lockdown to prevent the further spread of the disease. The National Disaster Management Authority issues a set of orders requesting all Government Ministries/Departments (including State/Union Territory Governments) to take effective measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
The Authority can issue guidelines on how the lockdown should be implemented, and can request the government to comply with them and implement them strictly. These lockdown orders are published on the Ministry of Home Affairs website.
How does the lockdown affect services?
During the lockdown period, the Government provides and allows the provision of many essential services, whereas non-essential services are temporarily suspended. For example, essential services like medicines are available while non-essential services like amusement parks may be stopped for some time. Some of the services available also depend on the State Government, so it is important to know the directions given in your state.
What can you do?
The World Health Organisation recommends that to prevent infection and to slow transmission of Covid-19, you should:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
- Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
- Practise physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.
Need help understanding what to do if the police files a case against you? Reach out to us at Ask Nyaaya.
To know more about Covid-19, read our explainer.