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All measures being taken, need not panic: Ministers
The State government was taking all possible measures, including ensuring that essential materials like masks were available in adequate numbers, said Ministers D Jayakumar and RB Udhayakumar on Sunday.
“People need not panic on the spread of coronavirus in the State, as the Health department is taking all possible measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Preventive measures taken by the Health department are satisfactory,” said Jayakumar, while addressing the media at Chennai airport.
The Minister was returning from Delhi after participating in the GST Council meeting. Jayakumar, too, was subjected to mandatory screening for the virus at the airport. “I travelled on an international flight. As I returned from Delhi, I too was subjected to the test. But as I am a cool-headed person, I did not have any temperature and was let go,” quipped the Minister.
When asked about the reports of shortage of masks and other essential materials to tackle the spread of coronavirus, Jayakumar replied that all the essential items, including masks, were available in abundance. There was no need to worry in this regard, he said, adding that the State Health department was keeping a constant tab on the availability of essential items, said Minister.
Meanwhile in Madurai, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister RB Udhayakumar said the situation was not bad and it has been contained in Tamil Nadu.
Addressing members of Tamil Nadu Association of Non-Teaching Staff of Aided College at Mannar Thirumalai Nayak College in Madurai, he said the government would exercise caution regarding public events. “But we are yet to reach the stage where they need to be postponed. We do not want to cause panic among the public,” he added.
The State has been procuring essential materials like masks and sanitisers to be prepared, he said. “We are also receiving regular communication from the Centre about necessary steps to take preventive measures. As a number of persons have tested positive in Kerala, we must remain vigilant and ensure that the public should be educated on the virus,” Udhayakumar added.
Chennai Metro suspends biometric attendance system
As part of coronavirus precautionary measures, Chennai Metro has suspended bio-metric attendance system and asked its officials and staffs to register their attendance through register.
In addition, for the benefit of Metro commuters antivirus precautionary messages are being sent as SMS to their cell phones. “Do’s and don’ts are published at all Metro stations along with the announcements which are regularly made for benefit of the passengers,” an official release from the CMRL said.
The Metro set to undertake disinfectant activity at Airport station on Sunday in association with Ascentya Research Development Solutions. It said CMRL had carried out a disinfectant activity at Central Metro Station on Saturday against spread of COVID -19 (coronavirus) in the collaboration with Ascentya Research and Development Solutions Ltd. It said that the disinfectant activity will be conducted on Sunday at Airport Metro station after the revenue hours at 11pm.
Teams formed to screen people entering Pondy
There was no report of coronavirus cases in the Union Territory, the Puducherry district administration informed on Sunday. Several preventive measures have also been taken, added officials.
Talking to reporters after meeting cinema theatre owners here, Collector T Arun said the territorial administration has taken many precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. “The Chief Minister and Chief Secretary have convened several meetings in this regard. Medical teams were deployed in all the border points to Puducherry, which will function 24x7 and check those entering Puducherry.”
Hotels were asked to get details of those who check-in, which would be handed over to the health department and medical examinations conducted later. ASHA and Angnwadi workers are on a door-to door visit to create awareness among the people, the Collector said. All cinema houses were advised to clean and sanitise their premises before and after each show, Arun said, adding that they were also advised not to allow those with cough and sneezing inside the theater. In case of any violation, steps would be taken to close down the cinema house, he added.
All buses, including those belonging to the Puducherry Road Transport Corporation vehicles, would be cleaned with sanitiser once an hour. Medical camps were set up at the airport, railway station and bus stand here to check the incoming passengers. All school managements were advised to make the students clean their hands with soaps during every ‘water bells’, Arun said, adding that action would be initiated against those who sell sanitisers and masks at a higher price.
UT announces leave for KG to Class 5 students
Puducherry Education Minister R Kamalakannan has declared holidays for LKG to Class 5 students of the union territory until further notice amid the coronavirus scare. Though Puducherry has not recorded any case of the virus so far, the authorities have decided to declare holidays as a precautionary measure. The announcement from the Minister has come on the same day as the Chief Minister of the neighbouring Tamil Nadu declared holidays for kindergarten and primary school students till March 31st.
SR withdraws woollen blankets in AC coaches
As part of campaign to fight the threat of COVID outbreak, Southern Railway on Sunday announced withdrawal of woollen blankets to passengers of AC coaches and said they would be given only on demand, for the next one month.
A Southern Railway release here said a host of preventive measures have been put in place as part of massive awareness campaign to fight the threat of Coronavirus outbreak. It said the steps included spraying of disinfectants on the exterior and interiors of all the coaches, EMUs, MEMUs of the primary maintenance trains of Southern Railway. It said railway staff working in the areas of customer interface have been advised to adhere to requisite precautions. Audio announcement and videos were also played on regular basis to create awareness about precautionary measures against COVID-19.
As part of these initiatives and in view of the advisory from the Railway Board, Southern Railway has withdrawn supply of woollen blankets to AC coach passengers and it would be supplied only on demand.
All the AC passengers with reserved accommodation will also be intimated through SMS about the change in the supply of blanket facility. This would be in force for a period of one month or till further notification, the release said. However, supply of pillows, pillow covers and bed sheets to the passengers would be continued. It has also commenced the removal of curtains in all classes of AC coaches.
Passengers were requested to cooperate with the Railways and make their own arrangements for blanket, if considered necessary to them, or may demand the same from the coach attendant during the journey.