Delhi to enforce mask mandate again after spurt in COVID cases

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New Delhi (Reuters) – New Delhi will enforce a mask mandate again after COVID-19 infections rose in the past fortnight, a government order showed on Thursday, though a similar order in April failed to improve compliance.

People caught without masks in public in the Indian capital will have to pay a fine of 500 rupees ($6), the order dated Aug. 8 and shared with reporters on Thursday, said. Presently, mask-wearing is uncommon even in shopping malls and crowded markets.

New Delhi reported 2,146 new infections in the past 24 hours and eight deaths, the worst figures among Indian states and federal territories.

The country reported 16,299 new infections during the period, taking the cumulative total to 44.2 million, while deaths rose by 53 to 526,879. The actual numbers are believed to be multiple times higher.