By Nayak Paudel/Laxman Paudel Kathmandu/Bhairahawa, May 10:It was on April 29 when the three District Administration Offices of Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu imposed a-week-long restriction order; which has been extended for another week until May 12. Similarly, the Rupandehi District Administration Office also imposed a restriction order on the same day, which will last on May 14. The government authorities opted for restriction order following the increasing cases of COVID-19 as such orders could help control the crowd and break the chain of virus. However, people have been found violating the orders. According to Nepal Police, over 270,000 people have been kept in hold by law enforcement agencies across the country since April 27 for not wearing masks and violating the restriction orders. On April 29 alone, 58,152 people and 3,080 vehicles were kept on hold while 1,091 of them were fined for flouting restriction orders. Similarly, 45,777 people were kept on hold and 8,024 were fined on April 30. “The people who are kept on hold are those who were found not wearing masks in public places and the ones who came outdoors without any essential work,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Basanta Bahadur Kunwar, who is the central police spokesperson. “The ones under hold are made aware and requested to not roam outdoors without any important work. They are allowed to go home in between half-an-hour to an hour depending on the respective place. We provide masks to the maskless as well.” Since April 27, the Nepal Police units across the country have been providing masks to thousands of maskless people on a daily basis. Nevertheless, police officers stated that people were still found breaching the restriction orders and not wearing masks despite the repeated requests and awareness campaigns. “We have started taking strong action against those who keep flouting the rules. The district police and local units will take forward the cases legally against such people now,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Satyanarayan Thapa and spokesperson for Rupandehi District Police Office. The district police recently took strong action against nine individuals under the Infectious Disease Act- 1964 for disobeying the restriction orders and health safety measures repetitively. “Among the nine, one was fined Rs. 600. We have lodged cases against others demanding a fine of Rs. 100 fine and a month imprisonment. Many start disputing when we inquired them about violating the restriction order,” said DSP Thapa. The Rupandehi District Police also informed that over 2,000 vehicles were found flouting the restriction order till date. As per Nepal Police, over 24,000 vehicles, including 16,000 two-wheelers, were found flouting restriction orders across the country. The vehicles are kept under custody and are allowed to leave after police officers provide awareness and request them to not repeat it again. The Nepal Police has also fined Rs. 100 each to over 17,000 people, mostly the drivers, as per the Infectious Disease Act. “Since the government has allowed people with essential works to come outdoors, there are many people who come outside with false reasons. They tell lies that they have to visit hospitals, banks, shops or pharmacies. People who don’t have any proof to their claims are then kept under hold or are fined. The large number of people kept in hold and fined daily shows how poorly the public are cooperating with the government to control the pandemic,” said SSP Kunwar.