Official figures show that with the drop in COVID-19 cases in Delhi, enforcement actions have also slowed even as experts continue to warn of a third wave of the virus after the festival season. During the second wave, a total of 85,175 shillings were issued in May. Delhi government figures show it rose to 1,58,341 in June and 2,11,267 in July.
With the number of cases and the positivity rate dropping, enforcement action has begun to slow with 1,81,103 cases issued in August and 1,69,370 in September. 1,04,270 shillings were issued as of October 25.
The amount of fines from violators of COVID-appropriate behavior such as face mask wearing, social distancing and other orders and guidelines related to the pandemic, reflects the downward trend in enforcement action. In July, the Delhi government’s enforcement teams collected Rs 36.21 crore in fines for various violations of COVID-appropriate conduct and official guidelines. The fine amount was reduced to Rs 30.17 crore in September and also reduced to Rs 20.51 crore as of October 25.
Officials cited reasons such as the almost complete resumption of normal life after the lockdown period and a lack of sufficient resources to monitor and enforce the full set of COVID-related guidelines, behind the slowdown in enforcement action. Experts at the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) meeting earlier this week emphasized the strict application of COVID-appropriate behavior and other official guidelines during the festival season.