Nearly 1,000 streets in Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) continue to report fresh coronavirus infections, according to Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan.
While appreciating senior citizens and persons in the 45 to 59 years with co-morbidities category for coming forward to get vaccinated, he said, “What is worrying is that of the 39,000 streets in GCC, 1,000 streets continue to report five to six cases. Similarly, COVID-19 cases are not declining in Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Coimbatore and Tiruppur districts. In many other districts, where the mortality has reduced to a great extent, we still record seven to eight cases.”
An analysis showed that persons attending functions such as marriages, birthday parties, and events in gated communities were not wearing masks, he told reporters on the sidelines of a central team visit on Wednesday.
“We noticed during the central team visit that in many places, people are not wearing masks or lower their masks. Those visiting the book fair and hotels, and travelling in buses are not wearing masks. We have asked all district Collectors and GCC Commissioner to enforce mandatory wearing of masks. Masks are the social vaccine. We need to maintain physical distance when attending a programme as the infection spreads when people are close to each other while dining. People should not think that COVID-19 spread has stopped,” he said.
Mr Radhakrishnan added that it was important to reduce fatality due to COVID-19 and people should seek medical help in case of any symptom.
The good news, he said, was that over 75% of healthcare workers were vaccinated. “However, frontline workers, police personnel and those involved in election work should come forward for the vaccination. There has been a good response for the vaccination among the elderly. We have nearly 650 vaccination centres in the government sector and an equal number of private vaccination centres. The vaccines are for free in the government facilities. On Tuesday, around 31,000 persons were vaccinated in government centres,” he said.
When others were hesitant, senior citizens and those in the age group of 45 to 59 years with co-morbidities came forward for the vaccination, he said, adding that 41,643 persons were inoculated on Tuesday.
The Government of India has supplied adequate doses of the vaccines. “We have received around 26 lakh doses of the vaccines. They have asked us to vaccinate all and have assured us of supply...Those aged above 45 years with co-morbidities, senior citizens and those involved in poll works should come forward and utilise the vaccination programme. Special arrangements have been made in all government hospitals for those who come in groups for vaccination,” he said.
He said the Health department was making arrangements for the elections as per the advisory of the Chief Electoral Officer to the district election officers.