Hyderabad: The Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) on Tuesday issued a notice and imposed a penalty of Rs 2,000 on the manager of a Reliance Fresh outlet at Manovikas Nagar for violating COVID-19 norms. The cantonment board found that some of the employees at the store failed to wear masks. The fine has come after the Telangana government on 27 March issued a GO 68 making it mandatory to wear masks in all public places, workspaces, and public transport.

In the order, Somesh Kumar, the chief secretary, had said, "Wearing of masks in all public places, workspaces, and public means of transport shall be mandatory across the state. Any deviation in this regard shall attract prosecution under Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and Section 188, IPC as well as other applicable laws." The notice comes after an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across the state in the past few days.

Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act attracts imposition of a fine, imprisonment up to two years or both, while Section 188 of the IPC attracts imprisonment of up to six months, a fine up to Rs 1,000 or both. The government also imposed restrictions on public gatherings, congregations, rallies, and processions for the upcoming religious events, till 30 April.

"Congregations pose a considerable threat of rapid transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, it is decided that public celebrations and observances shall not be allowed in the state for the upcoming religious events such as Shab-e-Barat, Holi, Ugadi, Rama Navami, Mahavir Jayanti, Good Friday, and Ramzan till 30 April," Kumar said in another order.

He directed all district collectors and commissioners and superintendents of police to strictly implement these instructions across the state. Now the police forces in all the three commissionerates in the capital region are stepping up vigil against those violating the orders and roaming without wearing masks.

Meanwhile, Telangana reported 463 new COVID-19 cases on Monday taking the overall tally to 3,07,205 in the state. The state reported four new deaths on 29 March taking the total toll to 1,694. The fatality rate in the state is 0.55 percent which is less than the national average of 1.3 percent.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area on Monday reported 145 new cases. The neighbouring Rangareddy district reported 28 new cases. Medchal-Malkajgiri district reported 46 and Sangareddy 9 new cases. Other districts of Telangana are also seeing a surge in cases. Nizamabad on Monday reported 23 new cases each while Jagtiyal reported 20 new cases.

Around 364 citizens recovered from the infection on Monday taking the total recoveries to 3,00,833 in the state. The recovery rate, as per government records, stands at 97.92 percent, which is approximately three percent higher than the national average of 94.2 percent.

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