On Saturday, the city reported only 137 cases, nearly the same number on February 1 (134 ), which was the lowest since May 2020 when the first wave started peaking. The number of daily new cases came down to less than 200 during the second wave on July 7 when the city reported only 196 cases. On July 6, 209 cases were reported. Chennai saw 1,663 active cases as on Sunday evening, and this tally was higher than the active cases reported on Saturday, which saw 1,632 active cases.
Officials said that despite warning from experts on the imminent third wave, city residents continue to flout safety protocols on weekends. On Sunday, meat shops, fish markets as well as biriyani shops were seen to be overcrowded. They violated social distancing norms, this despite the Greater Chennai Corporation warning of severe action against the public and shop owners if they were found violating norms.
“We have intensified zonal enforcement teams - formed to monitor adherence - in certain shopping hubs like T Nagar, Purasaiwalkam and other areas. Shop owners and residents should cooperate to prevent transmission,” a civic body official said.
On Saturday, when only 137 new cases were reported, none of the 15 zones of the civic body reported more than 20 cases. However, on Sunday, zones like Ambattur, Teynampet and others reported more than 20 cases.
Meanwhile, as the possibility of the third COVID-19 wave looms large, scientists and health experts across the country cautioned people to maintain COVID-19 appropriate behaviour for the next 125 crucial days to minimise the effect. Alerts have been extended from overcrowded public places to religious conglomerations which experts are saying can be the obvious possible epicentre, if not restricted at the moment.
While stating the next 125 days to be crucial, the Union health ministry has observed that fall in cases has slowed down which should be treated as a warning sign.