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Chennai Corporation intensifies drive against those not wearing face mask in public

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on March 08, 2021

The city has witnessed a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the past couple of weeks

Beware! Not wearing a mask in public places in Chennai could attract a penalty ₹200 from the Corporation officials who are closely monitoring the city. In fact, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan personally collected the fine on Monday morning in the busy commercial Ranganathan Street as part of an inspection.

Intensifying the drive comes against the backdrop of a spike in the number of cases in the city in the past couple of weeks, mainly attributed to family clusters. Earlier, it were the college clusters that spread the virus, followed by the training centre clusters, vegetable market clusters and hotel clusters.

The number of daily cases in Chennai rose to a high of 1,369 on October 7, 2020, but came down to a low of 138 cases on February 18. However, since then, there has been a steady increase, with the cases reaching a high of 251 on Sunday.

Chennai has nearly 40,000 streets of which 1,357 streets have active cases. Most of the new cases in the last few days have been linked to family functions or travel, Radhakrishnan said after visiting crowded places such as Ranganathan Street, Tana Street and Vadapalani to inspect whether wearing mask is being enforced or not.

Covid still active

“We have intensified the fine system so that people realise that Covid-19 has not gone. Many people think that Covid has gone as the vaccination drive is going on aggressively. Masks are the biggest protection from the virus. Abandoning it will be risky,” he added.

Across Tamil Nadu, in the last one year, the Health Department has collected ₹13 crore from around 14 lakh people for violating Covid-19 norms, Radhakrishnan told newspersons last wek after inspecting the State Vaccine Centre along with a Central team. Collecting fine is not the government’s objective, but people should change their way of life and follow the norms to help prevent the virus spread, he added.

On the family clusters, Radhakrishnan said that nearly 209 families, about 450 persons and their contacts tested positive in the last two weeks. Many of them had attended weddings and funerals. A similar situation prevails in Chennai’s neighbouring districts of Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, he added.

With cases in Maharashtra and Kerala increasing, Radhakrishnan appealed to people on Monday to understand the seriousness and cooperate with the government to check the spread of coronavirus in the State.

He directed Corporation officials to immediately collect penalties from those who do not wear masks.

Coronavirus cases in Chennai

Date

Cases

March 7

251

March 6

243

March 5

225

March 4

189

March 3

184

March 2

167

March 1

171

Feb 15

143

Source: State Health Department

Published on March 08, 2021

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