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AIIMS director advises hefty fines for no masks, aggressive testing

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As Delhi gears up to restart Metro services in the capital, AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria, who has been part of the government’s core committee in formulating policies for management of Covid-19, has advised hefty fines for not wearing masks and continuing to focus on aggressive testing.

“We have to develop strategies, both in terms of increasing awareness in public and seeing how we can take measures so that even if people behave a certain way, what can we do to prevent crowding and the spread of infection. It becomes more important with the lockdown coming down and opening of Metro. The virus is looking to survive and infect more and more people,” he told The Indian Express.

“The issue here is looking at the balancing of two things. One is trying to bring down the number of cases and at the same time looking at the effect on the economy and how things can move forward. As I have said in the past, Covid might stay for a longer period of time. It will probably be there till early next year. We will have to develop strategies to live with Covid,,, We can have hefty fines for people who don’t follow; it has worked when it comes to wearing seatbelts,” he said.

Delhi, which saw the maximum number of cases in June, is now witnessing an uptick in the daily number of Covid-19 cases again. For over a week now, the city has been reporting more than 1,500 cases in a day.

“After a time of flattening the curve and cases coming down, it has again started rising. We are seeing another surge in the number of cases. We need to become more vigilant and aggressive so that it doesn’t go on to what we had in June. Ultimately, that will get reflected in more admissions and strain on the healthcare system. There are multiple factors we need to consider — one is that there is a little bit of Covid fatigue and frustration among the general public. There was a lot of enthusiasm in maintaining the lockdown and being careful in the early months. Now people have gotten fed up with all that, and therefore we need to re-emphasise that we are still in the heart of the pandemic,” he said.

Indian express

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