New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday ordered an imposition of Rs 2000 towards fine for not wearing masks in public areas. The fine has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 2000 to tackle the covid-19 menace in the national capital. “A fine of Rs 2000 will be imposed on anyone who is found not wearing a mask at a public place,” Arvind Kejriwal said in an address to media. Also Read - ‘Kejriwal Lies, Khattar Thrashes’: Punjab CM Again Attacks His Neighbouring Counterparts Amid Protests

Notably, the hard line by the Kejriwal government came after the city’s COVID-19 surge worsened, with Delhi becoming one of the highest contributors of infections in India. The city had on Wednesday reported the highest single-day COVID-19 deaths at 131, pushing its overall toll to 7,943. The recorded fatalities, the highest in a day, came in parallel to the alarming spike in cases in recent weeks. Also Read - Kidney Disease Is A Leading Risk Factor for COVID Hospitalisation, Suggest Study

Speaking on the Chhath Puja celebrations, Kejriwal asserted that celebrations are not banned, only gathering of people near a water body has been barred. “You can imagine that COVID19 will be spread on a large scale. So, celebrations are not banned. What is banned is the entering of a large number of people in a pond or river at once. Let’s celebrate at homes,” the Delhi Chief Minister said. Also Read - South Africa vs England 2020: 1st ODI Postponed to Sunday After SA Player Tests Positive For Coronavirus

“We want our brothers and sisters to celebrate Chhath Puja very nicely. Please celebrate but if 200 people enter into a pond at a time, and even if just one of them has COVID19, all of them will contract the infection. This is also the opinion of experts,” Kejriwal added, urging people to stay at home.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court slammed the Arvind Kejriwal government for the alarming spike in cases in recent weeks and asked if it could explain to those who had lost their near and dear ones to COVID-19 in the last 18 days why the administration did not take any measures when cases were spiraling in the city.