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Cops on toes to meet today’s rush

Anticipating gathering of people in large numbers at vegetable shops and grocery stores on Thursday as the four-day complete lockdown comes to an end, the city police have made elaborate arrangements to avoid a repeat of Saturday when crowding at shops raised concerns about lack of social distancing.

Cops on toes to meet today’s rush


On Wednesday, police officials went around in patrol vehicles in their respective jurisdictions and announced through the Public Addressing System (PAS) that the shops selling essentials such as vegetables, grocery stores and pharmacies would be open till 5 pm on Thursday.

“We are doing this to avoid people queuing up in front of the shops in the morning itself. Also, from Friday, the shops would be open till 1 pm as was the case earlier. So, there is no need to rush to the shops on Thursday,” said an official. The announcement through PAS would also be made on Thursday as well, the official added.

In addition, inspectors held meetings with grocers, vegetable vendors and representatives of supermarkets in their jurisdiction to ensure that the customers maintained social distancing. “They were instructed to redraw the social distance markings in front of their shops,” he said.

Also, additional strength of police personnel would be deployed at places such as temporary markets where a larger crowd is expected.

The police and other officials were caught unawares on Saturday as a lot of people rushed to the markets in panic buying as the four-day complete lockdown was suddenly announced from Sunday. The officials now want to avoid a repeat of that when the shops open on Thursday.

Disinfect twice a day or face action, offices told
The Greater Chennai Corporation has warned government and private offices in the containment zones, which are allowed to function, of lock and seal action if they fail to disinfect their premises twice a day.
It also directed the banks to disinfect ATMs every time a customer uses the service. “The civic body is conducting disinfection drive two times daily in the containment zones. Government, private offices and banks should do the same,” a statement said.
The civic body also asked the managements to ensure their employees are wearing masks and following social distancing apart from frequent hand washing. The organisations should appoint separate workers for carrying out disinfection works. “Details of these workers, disinfection equipment etc should be sent to the Corporation before May 1,” it said.
It said the Health officials would carry out inspection of the office premises and if any establishment is found to have failed to adhere to these curbs would be sealed as per the provisions of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The civic body had announced 202 localities as containment zones.

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