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Gravity of pandemic lost? Crowds gather without fear
The shop owners and customers violating rules on wearing masks and maintaining social distance have left the residents of T Nagar, the shopping hub of the city, a concerned lot, worried that they would pay a price for this. The civic body officials should closely monitor the locality and impose strict penalty for the violators to prevent COVID-19 spread.
Traders, shoppers violate norms; T Nagar residents may pay the price
In a petition to the CM Cell, T Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association pointed out that T Nagar has been witnessing massive crowd after the relaxation of lockdown regulations. “On Sundays, Usman Road and Ranganathan Street witness unprecedented crowd. Though the government has prescribed standard operating procedures that shops and commercial establishments are supposed to follow, and warned that failure to do so would entail stringent punishments including shutting down of the shops, many do not follow the guidelines,” the petition pointed out.
Noting that street vendors, too, were not taking the guidelines seriously, the association warned that this could lead to COVID cluster at Usman Road and Ranganathan Street. “If timely and effective action is not taken, the whole of T Nagar will soon become a containment zone,” added VS Jayaraman, a member of the association.
Despite the tag of being the retail hub of the city, T Nagar was still primarily a residential area, the association noted, adding that the blatant indifference towards the rules would not only affect the shoppers, but also the residents here.
“In the overall interest of the public, we request the authorities to strictly monitor so as to curb the spread of COVID-19. Any slackness on the part of the authorities will prove fatal,” the association said in the petition.
The Greater Chennai Corporation had collected Rs 2.57 crore as penalty from public and shop owners for violating pandemic norms in the city till Saturday. Of the fine collected so far, Rs 21.97 lakh was collected from Kodambakkam zone in which T Nagar falls.
“We have formed teams to monitor the adherence of social distancing and wearing masks in public places, including shopping hubs. We will take necessary action against the persons violating the norms,” a Chennai Corporation official said.
COVID RECOVERIES SURGE PAST SIX-LAKH MARK
Tamil Nadu’s coronavirus recoveries crossed the six lakh mark even as the State added 5,015 new infections, pushing the caseload to 6.56 lakh, the health department said on Sunday. As many as 65 people have succumbed to the virus, raising the toll to 10,252, a health department bulletin said. The recoveries stood at 5,005 today, taking the total number of those who got cured after treatment to 6.02 lakh till date. Active cases, including those in isolation were 44,095. On Sunday, 90,107 samples were tested, with 83.22 lakh specimens getting examined till date in the State. Chennai’s new cases rose to 1,82,014 with 1,250 more getting infected by the virus. Besides Chennai, Coimbatore logged 389 cases, Salem 294, Chengalpet 258. Erode, Kancheepuram, Namakkal, The Nilgiris, Theni, Tiruvallur, Tirupur, Villupuram recorded over 100 cases each in the last 24 hours. Among the 65 fatalities, two patients were without comorbidity. Of the 10,252 deaths reported in the State, Chennai accounted for 3,415 till date, the bulletin said.
SOCIAL DISTANCING NOT A FACTOR AT KASIMEDU
Hundreds of seafood lovers thronged Kasimedu fishing harbour on Sunday without following pandemic norms, raising concerns about potential COVID cluster. When asked, fishermen leaders blamed officials for not opening the new fish market that resulted in the uncontrollable crowd. In the initial period of the pandemic outbreak, the authorities had closed the fishing harbour and announced setting up a new fish market nearby. But it has not been functional yet. “The reason for overcrowding is because the newly constructed fish market had not been put to use yet,” K Bharathi, president, South India Fishermen Welfare Association, told DT Next. If the new market was made operational, many of the shops could be shifted there, which would reduce the crowd at the harbour, he said. When asked, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said the process of physical verification for allocation of shops was going on and added that it would be completed in two or three days. Following that, the new market would be operational, he said.
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