As Coronavirus infections continue to rise in 16 states across India, New Delhi too recorded a 4.7% rise in Covid-19 cases.

But, are the people of Delhi adhering to the Covid safety protocols? We visited Sarojini Nagar market, one of the most crowded markets in Delhi, and noticed that most people were seen without masks.

While experts around the world have called it a crude vaccine, people in Delhi mostly put the mask on only to avoid the hefty challan of Rs. 2000.

To find out more, a team from CNN-News18 spoke to some of the shopkeepers in the market who were seen without a mask.

Upon asking why they chose to not wear masks, some of them came up with bizarre explanations. “Why should we wear masks, when the customers don’t? If only the customers will take all the precautions, then shall we,” said a footwear seller.

Some of them even thought the Covid-19 doesn’t exist anymore.

“We don’t wear masks because corona doesn’t exist! It’s a myth and we’re being threatened and misguided by the authorities. The only reason I’m seen wearing a mask is the challan.” said a seller of western wear.

Also read: Curfews, Screenings & Travel Advisory: States on High Alert as India Sees Biggest Covid-19 Jump Since Nov

Reacting sharply to these statements, the volunteer market president, Omdutt Sharma told CNN News 18, “It’s unfortunate to see the members of this market being this ignorant and careless. I, in fact, keep 4-5 masks in my pocket each day and give them out to those who don’t have one. I want the market to be a safe place for the customers and do not want it to turn into a containment zone.”

The national capital on Monday recorded 129 fresh Covid-19 cases, 157 recoveries and one death in the past 24 hours, taking the active case tally to 1,041.The new fatalities pushed the death toll to 10,901 in the national capital. Delhi’s total caseload now stands at 6,38,028.

In a bid to fight off the deadly virus and curb its spread, the Delhi government had introduced a fine of Rs.2,000 in November of 2020. Earlier the fine for not wearing a mask in public was Rs. 500 which was later increased to Rs. 2,000 amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the capital.

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