With Tamil Nadu inching towards 6,000 COVID-19 cases per day, the State disaster management and public health administrators handling the crisis have instructed the district collectors to micromanage the identified containment areas, repeating last year’s protocol measures, so that the mortality rate is brought down through early diagnosis and containments.
“We are following the same 2020 protocol and there will not be any major change in the drugs provided to COVID patients. Vaccination drive and the imposition of fine will be strict this time to bring in behavioural change among the public. The State cannot afford a full lockdown and those without masks will be dealt with severely,” a senior government official said.
Commissioner of disaster management had identified 846 corona containment areas across the State and districts like Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Pudhukottai, Perambalur and Virudhunagar are now in green zones. Chennai, Chenglapet, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Vellore have now become red zones with COVID spreading at full pace. The containment zones in urban pockets will be monitored by the public health officials and the lockdown norms will be implemented strictly in these areas. Besides night curfew, the State is also planning to appoint senior IAS officers as district nodal officers, the official said.
“Corona spread has raised its ugly head and the public fail to understand the seriousness of social distancing,” rued former city health officer and infectious disease expert Dr P Guhanantham. There is no breakthrough in medicines, but vaccination will be the game-changer. We should start vaccinating the younger population who are spreading the virus and the students who appear for exams should also be vaccinated at the earliest, the public health expert said.
He also urged the netizens not to circulate the social media forwards on corona infection and vaccines as they lack scientific details. These forwards are adding stress and the public cannot afford to absorb another lockdown.
Enmasse vaccination is the only option to stop the full and partial lockdowns and another great advantage of vaccine is that they break the mutations, Guhanantham added.