Mobile courts, led by executive magistrates, on Monday detained 33 people and fined 25 others in Khulna city for not wearing face masks in public places as per a government order on mask use, issued to tackle the possible second wave of COVID-19 in winter.
The Khulna district administration conducted the mobile courts a day after the monthly law and order situation meeting on Sunday had decided, in line with a recent Cabinet Division directive, to take legal action against people not wearing masks.
Cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told a press briefing that the weekly cabinet meeting on Monday discussed about the mobile court drives in Khulna.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities concerned to take strict measures in other divisions as well for not wearing masks to check the possible second wave of coronavirus infection.
Hasina joined the meeting virtually from her Ganabhaban residence.
On November 2, the prime minister in a cabinet meeting said that the authorities must ensure that all put on masks at offices, public gatherings, markets and religious institutions as experts feared that the country in winter might face another wave of the coronavirus infections, first detected in Bangladesh on March 8.
The Monday’s mobile courts in Khulna city were led by the district administration executive magistrates Dipa Rani Sarkar, Sentu Kumar Barua, Md Rakibul Hasan and Md Tahmidul Islam, officials said.
Khulna additional district magistrate Yusuf Ali told New Age that the mobile courts fined 25 people Tk 17,100 and detained 33 others for not wearing masks.
Of the 33, he said, 12 seemed to be aged below 18 years and were released after taking an undertaking that they would abide by the law.
The rest were detained for one day and will be released at 8:00am today.
‘All the detained people are now under our supervision,’ he said, adding that they would continue to carry out the drives to create awareness about mask use during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Although the government earlier gave several directives on mandatory use of masks in public places, there has been little visible initiative from the agencies concerned to enforce the government directives.
The directives are still ignored at most of the public places, including transports, market places and terminals.
The situation has improved in different service-oriented offices and banks as the government is now implementing ‘no mask, no service’ policy.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country