Fine to be increased for not wearing masks

The government is increasing fines imposed by the mobile court to ensure that people wear masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said that people must be forced to wear masks. She said, this message must be spread as nothing will be effective unless masks are worn.

During an unscheduled discussion at Monday's cabinet meeting, the issue of wearing masks to prevent coronavirus transmission was raised.

Later at a press briefing at the secretariat, cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam informed the media of the prime minister's directives and the government's stand.

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The cabinet secretary said that the divisional commissioner had reported that a few thousand people had been fined on Sunday for not wearing masks. In Dhaka the mobile court has conducted drives in 37 areas. This would continue for another week after which a sterner stance would be adopted.

When asked what the sterner actions would be, the cabinet secretary said that the Tk 500 or Tk 1000 fine may be increased to Tk 5000. And the mobile court had been instructed to carry more masks during the drives.

The virtual cabinet meeting had been held with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

At the meeting, the cabinet approved the draft of the Bangladesh Film Artistes Welfare Trust Act. According to this act, those receiving benefits from this trust under the information ministry, will not be eligible for funds from the artistes' welfare trust of the cultural ministry.

The meeting was also apprised of the steps taken by the agricultural ministry against the COVID-19 impact and its future plans. Also discussed at the meeting was the state of foreign assistance as well as the programmes of the disaster management and relief ministry.

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