BPS public relations officer, senior superintendent Near Bagali said that failure to properly wear masks remains a challenge in the country amidst the increasing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. He said that failure to wear masks properly is most pronounced amongst the youth.
“The wearing of masks is compulsory, but we have been battling with the youth who reluctantly wear masks,” a concerned Bagali said, adding that they have discovered that the youth mostly wear masks when the police are within the vicinity.
He expressed fear that with the festive season just on the doorstep amidst the increasing numbers of COVID-19, there is a high possibility that more people will get infected with the virus because they will throw caution to the wind when in the festive mood.
He applauded elders for mostly complying with the protocol of wearing masks throughout the year.
The police boss explained that failure to wear masks properly attracts a fine not exceeding P5,000 or a jail term not exceeding six months.
He said that although the police do not enjoy charging people for not wearing masks properly, they are left with no option but to charge those people who violate this protocol because, at the end of the day, the law must take its cause.
“It looks like some people don’t wear masks properly because they are ready to pay fines. We plead
with members to always wear masks,” Bagali pleaded.
He said another challenge that they find throughout the year that hinders the flattening of the coronavirus curve is the illegal gathering of people otherwise known as ‘dichilas’ in street lingo.
Bagali said that most of the people who attend dichilas indulge in drinking alcohol even disregarding other protocols including social distancing.
He made an impassioned plea to members of the public to observe all protocols since not doing so would pose a great health risk.
Bagali said another area of concern this year was of drinking liquor in prohibited areas.
He added that ‘Di nwele dladleng’ was a good initiative but it no longer serves the purpose as imbibers continue to gather in large numbers unlawfully at homes and open spaces.
Bagali further stated that since bars and other entertainment places close early, people now have the habit of grouping themselves, playing music and drinking alcohol and in the process, failing to observe COVID-19 protocols.
Meanwhile, Bagali stated that they have also found that some people have been trying to bypass the Dibete police check to travel to the northern part of the country without having interzonal permits, using ungazetted routes.
He emphasised: “We are pleading with the public to adhere to COVID-19 protocols even during the holidays because we will continue to charge people for failure to comply.”