BBMP clarifies rules on masks, plans better enforcement

rules on wearing masks

BBMP marshals enforcing COVID norms
BBMP Marshals enforcing COVID-appropriate behaviour. With a recent spike in cases, Marshals have been told to be more vigilant. Representational image: BBMP SWM Special Commissioner/Twitter

The Technical Advisory Committee of the Government of Karnataka gave clarifications on the use of masks, on October 27. Following is a press release from the BBMP based on this.

Use of masks in public places

  1. Whether a person driving alone in a four-wheeler with the window glasses closed should wear a mask?
    Answer: Wearing a mask is mandatory.
  2. (a) Whether an individual driving alone in a four-wheeler without any fellow traveller in the car should wear a mask If the window glasses are open and the car is parked near the traffic signal?
    (b) If he opens the window glasses to talk to a person who has parked next to him?
    Answer: Wearing a mask is mandatory.
  3. Whether a single rider in a two-wheeler without a pillion rider should wear a mask while driving?
    Answer: Wearing a mask is mandatory.
  4. Whether a motorist without a pillion rider should wear a mask while he has stopped the vehicle?
    Answer: Wearing a mask is mandatory.

Additionally, mask has to be worn if the driver/rider is symptomatic (has fever, cough, cold, throat pain, etc).

  • COVID-19 is a viral infection that is predominately transmitted through respiratory droplets while coughing, sneezing, speaking, etc. Facemask when worn by a healthy person is known to protect self and when worn by an infected individual will prevent further spread of infection. Widespread and proper use of appropriate facemasks in a community is known to effectively prevent the spread of infection.
  • Everyone should wear a mask whenever they are in public with few exceptions. Use of mask is particularly important in environments where there is a higher risk of virus transmission. These include indoor environments, and particularly those with any of the “3 Cs”
    • closed/confined places with poor ventilation
    • crowded places with many people
    • close-contact settings where people may have close conversations

Mask use is critical in settings where there are people of advanced age or with certain underlying illnesses or health conditions.

Guidelines on wearing masks in various settings

  • Wearing of the mask is exempted while
    • Eating or drinking
    • Practising or playing musical instruments that are hindered by masks (such as mouth organ, flute, etc.)
    • Activities that involve getting the face wet, such as swimming or showering
    • In circumstances when a person is asked to verify their identity for lawful purposes
    • Communicating with an individual with hearing Impairment
    • Receiving a dental or medical examination or treatment that cannot be performed through a mask
  • When two or more persons are in face-to-face conversation, wearing of facemask is compulsory.
  • In situations and circumstances not covered vide above, the advice of a public health specialist or treating physician shall be duly followed.
  • It can be difficult for very young children to wear masks. It is recommended that children below five years of age need not wear masks. This advice is motivated by a “do no harm” approach and considers:
    • Childhood developmental milestones
    • Compliance challenges and
    • Autonomy required to use a mask properly
  • Children above five years of age shall wear a facemask

Tests and positivity rate in Bengaluru

From the above table, it is seen that the number of tests conducted has been steadily rising. On an average, we are conducting nearly 50,000 tests per day in Bengaluru, and the positivity rate of the city is gradually coming down.

During last week, it is seen that the positivity rate fell below 10%. We need to continue this trend and aim for a positivity rate for below 5%. Hence there should not be any room for complacency and the same tempo needs to be maintained. One of the most important factors which enable BBMP to bring down the positivity rate is the strict enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour among citizens.

BBMP has been doing a lot of IEC activities and appealing to the citizens for strict compliance of the following three Cs and three Ws.

Stringent enforcement required

In spite of large IEC activities and appeal to the citizens to wear masks and maintain social distance at all public places, it is found that some citizens are blatantly violating COVID-19 directives. Accordingly a penalty of Rs 250 is being imposed for every willful violation.

The BBMP has also engaged nearly 220 Marshals who are retired army personnel; these Marshals have been relentlessly working in the field along with the police for ensuring compliance on mask wearing and social distancing norms.

Further, it is felt that more stringent measures are required by the BBMP and the police authorities for ensuring there is absolutely no violation in the COVID-19 directives and every citizen as soon as he comes out of his house will wear masks in public places and also maintain social distance.

Hence, the following committees are being formed in all the 198 Wards, 27 divisions, eight Zones and also at the head-office level. The committees consist of the following members:

Ward Level Committee

  • Assistant Engineer
  • Senior Health Inspector
  • Ward Marshal
  • A suitable Police Officer to be nominated by the Police Commissioner

This committee will go around in the wards and impose penalty if they see citizens violating the direction regarding compulsory wearing of masks and maintaining social distance.

Divisional Level Committee

  • Executive Engineer
  • Medical Officer of Health
  • A Senior Police Officer to be nominated by the Police Commissioner

This committee will review the functioning of the Ward Level Committee every week.

Zonal Level Committee

  • Joint Commissioner
  • Chief Engineer
  • Health Officer
  • Zonal Marshal Supervisor
  • A Senior Police Officer to be nominated by the Police Commissioner

This committee will review the reports received from the Divisional Committee regarding effective enforcement by the Ward Level Committees.

BBMP Head Office Committee

  • Naveen Raj Singh, IAS
  • D Randeep, Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management)
  • Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management)
  • Col. Rajbir Singh, Chief Marshal Officer
  • Zonal Marshal Supervisors – 8
  • Chief Health Officer (Public Health)
  • Chief Engineer (Solid Waste Management)
  • A Senior Police Officer to be nominated by the Police Commissioner

The Divisional Level Committee will meet once a week to monitor and guide the Ward Level Committees in enforcing the above directions. Similarly the Zonal Committees will meet every week to monitor the enforcement at the respective Zones. And the Committee at the Head Office will meet once in a week to review enforcement in the entire city.

Each level will send a detailed report to the next level regarding the compliance of this order.

[This article is based on a press release from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), and has been published with edits. The original press release can be found here.]

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  1. It is very ridiculous , catching peoples only in two wheeler & in car. but the person who is catching , behind him many no of peoples walking without mask.

    what is this ???

  2. Just got fined for travelling without mask in my car with family members with all windows closed. This is clearly a money making strategy for government in the name of covid. What about thousands on beggars and street walkers not wearing mask? Can they pay a fine of 250? Only people travelling in bike or car can. So logical this rule is to make extra money and harass people.

  3. All police are terrorist.. They doing nothing. Just wait near any house doorstep and suddenly ask for fine

  4. These rules for riders and drivers with /without masks is just another money making racket. There are so many people in the streets without any masks ( which is more dangerous for spreading covid), why does’nt government do anything for this problem ? Is it because not everyone will be able to give fine , and only car and bike riders have the extra money to feed the government. BBMP is diverting people mind by making so many FAQ for wearing masks, which is so very absurd. We are travelling with family members ( with whom we stay 24/7 at home ) inside AC car wearing masks ? woah ..what a senseless rule, where is the logic ? well anything goes as long as government is making money.

  5. Driving with specs and masks so on is hoghly impossible. It creates moisture on glasses which is more problem than covid. If wearing mask on car or motorcycle is mandatory why don’t they collect fines for people not wearing mask on streets. If government calls car is a public space then even also should be considered. This LAW so called law.. Doesn’t make sense

    [Ed: This comment has been edited as per our Comments Policy]

  6. Imposing fine for not wearing mask inside car seems to be an easy revenue collection method and not at all relevant to Covid care. Please stop harassing people with rules that do not make any logical sense.

  7. Fine collection is not the solution to prevent covid 19, these personals are collecting huge amount as one of extra source of income.
    This is really shameful

  8. Pls allow family members like husband /wife/children’s to travel freely.

    Its very difficult to drive with mask while wearing specs. It creates moisture.

  9. This very foolishness that wearing a mask in a closed car and they are from a single family members. And I am noticed that every curves cover the police and collecting money like a begger. Shameless… And BBMP thinks they are very smart and intelligent but they very fools that they never try to avoid the rush and mass of markets. There the peoples are touching each other, actually there is the high risk to spread covid-19 viruses. But actually things very different that BBMP want to beg and collect the money from everybody and anyway. Supreme court issue an order about the wearing mask rules that no need wear a mask in closed car. But I think BBMP is not in under supreme court. They are in other country. I think its good to go to robbery, it may better than begging. Think.. And stop the begging and try to avoid the mass of markets.

  10. Why there is no SOP for fine collection with evidence based otherwise it is for only bribe collection

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