Chennai

Coronavirus | Safety norms continue to be ignored at Kasimedu

Turning a deaf ear: Wholesalers and retailers thronging the Kasimedu fishing harbour on Saturday.

Turning a deaf ear: Wholesalers and retailers thronging the Kasimedu fishing harbour on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Despite officials’ efforts, overcrowding is the order of the day

The flouting of COVID-19 prevention norms, including physical distancing and personal safety, still remains a concern at the fish auction centre in Kasimedu wharf, where thousands gather every day.

Throwing caution to the wind, people, including buyers and retailers, throng the auction centre during the early hours of the day to buy fish.

Officials from the Department of Fisheries, the police and the Greater Chennai Corporation met with stakeholders and suggested that only wholesalers be allowed inside the harbour. After retailers protested, they were also permitted to enter between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m., provided they adhered to physical distancing and wore masks. However, on Saturday, retailers and buyers were seen without masks, and physical distancing was ignored.

A senior police officer said around 120 police personnel were deployed from 2 a.m. onwards to regulate the crowd. “This everyday ordeal is too much for us. People must cooperate to ensure discipline,” a policeman said.

The officer added that each day around 3,000 to 5,000 people visited, though permission was only given for 750.

“No tests are conducted on the retailers. By the time the Corporation workers arrive, most of the retailers leave. Not even random tests are conducted,” a local activist said. “Many retailers are senior citizens and need help to even reach the wharf. We cannot turn them away,” a fisherman said.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 7:16:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/coronavirus-safety-norms-continue-to-be-ignored-at-kasimedu/article32250415.ece

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