Coronavirus: Close to 50 people caught in public without their masks on the first day mandatory rule is enforced

Mr Darren Ang, an SG Clean Ambassador, distributes fliers to members of the public. PHOTO: NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

SINGAPORE - Close to 50 people were caught on Thursday (April 16) for not wearing their masks in public on the first day that the mandatory rule was enforced.

Another 150 people will be fined for breaching safe distancing measures, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli on the same day.

In a Facebook post, Mr Masagos noted that a "small number of people" are becoming complacent despite cases of Covid-19 infection continuing to rise here.

"We are still finding people eating at hawker centres despite dine-in being disallowed, crowds returning to some popular markets, and others loitering and hanging out in groups at parks and public spaces," he wrote.

He added: "We all know that if we do not play our part to observe the circuit breaker strictly, the 28 days may not be enough to break the chain of transmission, don't we?"

While the majority have been abiding by new regulations requiring the use of masks when stepping outdoors, Mr Masagos said that there were still about 50 people who were caught being in public on Thursday without a mask on.

The relatively small number "a good sign", he said but added: "I hope we will find none tomorrow!"

Thursday was the 10th day of the stringent circuit breaker measures aimed at stemming the spread of coronavirus infections here.

Mr Masagos said that while it has not been easy for people to adjust to spending most of their time at home and observing the safe distancing measures, doing so is critical to effectively containing the virus.

"Every lapse weakens our collective defence against the virus... When things look like they're getting better is when we must not let our guard down. Our resolve to complete the circuit breaker with seriousness, to the end, is critical," he wrote.

In his post, Mr Masagos also praised the various safe distancing ambassadors and public officers who have been fighting the virus on the frontlines.

"I am proud that they have remained dedicated and steadfast," he wrote.

He added: "Our battle against Covid-19 has been difficult for everyone. And we have had to make tough but essential decisions. But we must do whatever it takes to keep Singaporeans and Singapore safe."

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