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Tripura government on October 8 said that it will observe “mask enforcement day” every Saturday to enforce preventative measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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In a notification, chief secretary Manoj Kumar stated that a large number of people have not been using masks outside their homes despite repeated appeals. Also, people are not wearing the masks properly, which has increased the risk of exposure to COVID-19 infection among the masses.

Earlier, the administration had declared a similar drive on September 18-19; even then a huge number of people were found without masks and a penalty of more than Rs 3.5 crore was collected.

At a time when the COVID cases were declining in the state, people dropped their guards and crowded markets and public places which led to the massive rise in Coronavirus infection.

“Since Durga puja is approaching, shopping has begun in full-swing, and during the puja days and the extended festival season violation of COVID norms will be much higher. The mask enforcement drive, last month, succeeded in raising awareness among the people about the importance of masks and maintaining physical distance in public places in keeping COVID infection at bay,” the officials stated.

On the other hand, the state government has decided to begin a serological survey to ascertain the prevalence of antibodies against COVID-19 among the masses.

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In the first phase the frontline warriors will be subjected to the tests, and equipment, kits and reagents for the survey have already reached the state, said spokesperson of Tripura government Ratan Lal Nath.

A team to conduct the test is being prepared for the task through rigorous training, and hopefully the tests will begin from the second week of October, he added.

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