AP collects fines worth Rs 36 crore from COVID norm violators

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has intensified the drive to ensure safety measures, to tackle the rising threat of the Omicron variant. So far, it has amassed Rs 36 crore through fines imposed on violators with Chittoor outranking other districts.

The state has listed a few districts according to the amount of money collected from the violators. Chittoor district has a collection of Rs 7.8 crore in penalties, followed by Anantapur recording Rs 5.5 crore, and Nellore which collected Rs 3.86 crore from the defaulters.

The number of violators across the state currently stands at 42.7 lakh, among these were 11.5 lakh violators are from Vishakapatnam. Guntur saw fines imposed on 66,400 people, the least across the state. Violations including those who do not wear masks, gather despite social distancing protocols and curfew were penalised.

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The public has also been vigilant, reporting violations on the recently launched WhatsApp helpline number 8010968295. So far 25 complaints have been registered from Anantapur, while there have been no complaints from Prakasam and Srikakulam districts.

According to a report from Newsmeter, the state health department has released an order, which calls for the strict imposition of COVID safety measures across the state. People found with no masks will be fined Rs 100, while workplaces violating COVID protocols would be closed for two days. A fine of Rs 25000 will also be imposed on them.

The order further stated that family gatherings should be restricted to 500 people, that too in a phased manner. There has been a dip in the use of masks, due to the decline in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state. Dr K Satish Reddy, a general physician, said, “Social distancing and masks will help prevent the spread of the disease, while vaccination would help prevent serious infections.”

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