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Nepal makes wearing a face mask mandatory in public places

Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) made wearing face masks in public places mandatory on Monday, with provisions for legal action against those defying the public health and safety rules.
Umakanta Adhikari, a ministry spokesperson, said police could arrest those not wearing masks in public places. Offenders would be charged under the Infectious Disease Control Act with up to one month imprisonment, a fine of 100 rupees, or both.
“Not wearing a mask will now be treated as an offence punishable by law,” Adhikari told dpa.
He said the ministry has sent a directive to the 77 district administration offices for police to strictly enforce the order.
The new regulation comes amid a gradual rise in the number of COVID-19 cases although the country remains under partial lockdown.
While some essential services have resumed, the international border, air traffic, public transport, educational institutions, movie theatres and bars are to remain closed until July 22.
Adhikari said the decision was aimed at people causing a public health and safety threat by not wearing masks in public places.
Nepal, which had only one active case before going into lockdown on March 24, now registers 15,964 infections and 35 deaths.