People breaking social distancing norms are not fearful of the police anymore, said Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday, directing police officials to crack down on those moving around in groups in public.
Sawant asked the police not to worry about future complaints and urged the men in uniform to use force, if necessary, to enforce social distancing and wearing of masks in public spaces.
"Police should crack down on groups of youngsters who hang out either during night or day. Take strict action," Sawant told a meeting of officials in Bicholim sub-district on Monday.
"If police hits someone and they complain, it does not matter. A fine of Rs 100 (for not wearing masks) does not appear to be a deterrent anymore. If they repeat the offence often, bring them (errant persons) to the police station and keep them there for a day," Sawant said.
"People need to fear you (police force), people have lost the fear about you," he added.
At present, Goa has 818 active Covid-19 cases, with a recent surge in the daily number of positive cases over the last couple of weeks.
Sawant said while the police and health workers were working to keep the count low and ensuring treatment of Covid-19 positive persons, society at large should also act in a responsible manner.
"People are still visiting one another's home on birthdays. No one observes social distancing during weddings or wears masks on such occasions," Sawant added.
"And if by chance a positive person attends such an event then the entire group gets infected. Most positive cases in Goa are of such nature," he pointed out.
On Sunday, the chief minister had also urged people not to unnecessarily visit homes and family functions to break the chain of coronavirus infection in the state.
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