The Karnataka government has announced strict implementation of Covid-19 safety protocols from Saturday after fresh infections in the state crossed the 500-mark in the past 24 hours.

Wearing of masks in public places, social distancing and other measures will be strictly enforced with the help of police and civic authorities.

According to the state Health department, 525 new Covid cases were registered — the highest in three-and-a half months — pushing the positivity rate to 2.3 per cent.

Though the police has been roped in, a decision on imposing fines for violations of the protocols is yet to be taken. If the trend of steady increase in the count continues, then there will be no other way but to impose fines, a source said.

Since the past ten days, the state has been witnessing a continuous rise in Covid cases prompting the Technical Advisory Committee on Covid to recommend strict implementation of the mask rule. The government has directed the BBMP and district administrations to ensure that the people follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour by deputing marshals.

As per the data, the number of active cases (3,177) in the state have crossed 3,000 mark. However, no deaths have been reported. They are being treated at hospitals and residences.

The health department had conducted 22,000 tests. A total of 516 Covid cases were reported on February 26 and now again the number has crossed the 500-mark.