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New Delhi: Several restaurants, night clubs and hotels here have been fined and face cases for not maintaining social distancing and serving hookah, police officials said on Sunday following a two-day special drive to crackdown on those violating COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The drive, in which people were also fined for not wearing face masks and spitting in public areas, was conducted in places with high footfall, including markets, on Friday and Saturday.

Giving details about the drive in the New Delhi district area, a senior police officer said that FIRs were registered against the owners of Jain Chawal Wala at Connaught Place, Informal Restaurant at Janpath, Classic Chicken Restaurant at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg and Choice Chicken Corner Kalina at Gole Market for not observing COVID-appropriate behaviour.

The cases were registered under Indian Penal Code sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Vikas Kumar said.

They also have been booked under Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, he said.

Besides them, nine persons were fined Rs 2,000 each for not wearing masks in the Khan Market area and three others for the same reason at the Ashoka Hotel in Chanakya Puri, Kumar said.

According to police, in the South East district, 10 FIRs were registered and 330 people fined for not wearing face mask, not maintaining social distancing and spitting in public places.

Several night clubs, including the M House Club and Bar and Roar Night Club at Eros Hotel in Nehru Place, were fined for not maintaining social distancing and serving hookahs, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) R P Meena said.

Municipal corporations and the excise department have been asked to cancel their licenses, he said.

Besides the Epidemic Diseases Act, they have been also booked under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, Meena said.

He said a case has also been registered against Boken Cafe for not following COVID-19 protocols.

Restaurants in the New Friends Colony sub-division like Brijwasi, Al Nawaz, Al Jawahar, Zehra Al Noor and Al Bake were also fined and booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act, the police said.

In separate data shared by police, on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, 173 people and establishments were fined.

Out of these, 13 were banquet halls owners, 58 restuarant owners and three night club owners, they said.

Delhi has been seeing a surge in cases over the past few days.

It recorded 3,567 COVID-19 cases on Saturday and the positive rate continued to rise to 4.48 per cent from 4.11 per cent a day ago while 10 more people succumbed to the deadly virus.

The national capital has seen an increase in cases with 3,594 cases being reported on Friday, the highest daily count this year, 2,790 cases on Thursday, 1,819 cases on Wednesday and 992 cases on Tuesday, according to official data.

Also read: India’s Covid R value increases to 1.30 this week — the highest since April 2020


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