Not wearing a mask will no longer attract a fine in Delhi, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said in a formal order today – a day after Maharashtra and Bengal decided to do away with Covid-related restrictions. The order will be effective immediately.
While the DDMA did not officially say masks are no longer mandatory, the removal of the existing Rs 500 fine has effectively made masks optional. The DDMA, however, has advised people to continue the use of masks in crowded places.
The DDMA had made the decision yesterday, at a meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. The decision was made in view of a drop in coronavirus positivity rate as well as vaccination of a large section of the population, sources had said.
Over the last 24 hours, Delhi reported 131 fresh cases of Covid-19 with a positivity rate of 0.57 per cent and one death. The new cases brought up the national capital’s Covid figure to 18,65,101. The number of fatalities stands at 26,153.
Even the number of patients in home isolation has fallen significantly over the last few weeks. As of February 1, the total number of home isolation cases stood at 12,312, while it was 332 on Friday, read a bulletin from the health department.
There are 9,753 beds for COVID-19 patients in Delhi hospitals of which 58 are occupied.
The Covid figures have been on a slow slide after touching the record high of 28,867 on January 13 during the third wave driven by the super-infectious Omicron variant.
A day later, the city recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent — the highest during the third wave.