Chennai

Coronavirus | Radhakrishnan leads campaign to prevent spike in cases

Festival rush: A crowd of shoppers on Usman Road in T. Nagar on Friday, ahead of Deepavali.  

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan led an information, education and communication campaign in crowded shopping areas of the city to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Officials visited crowded areas such as Ranganathan Street and talked to the people about the need for wearing masks and maintaining physical distance at shops on Friday.

“We don’t want the post-festival Delhi situation to be repeated. So, we are cautious. Since we are doing well, there is a sense of complacency among the people. So we are undertaking the drive. Already at the field level, both in Chennai Corporation and districts, teams are doing this regularly,” Dr. Radhakrishnan said.

“People are bringing along children and the elderly. But they are wearing masks only after seeing officials. Many people are not wearing a mask properly. This is the main issue seen,” he said.

Positive aspects

Pointing to the positive aspects, Dr. Radhakrishnan said, “By and large, everyone was carrying a mask. Shops were monitoring customers. Corporation and police and health officials were making announcements and entry-level random thermal screening was also seen,” he said.

“Some of the challenges include improper wearing of masks by street-vendors. Children below the age of 10 were brought without a mask. Some street-vendors were also placing the mask improperly below the nostrils without covering the nose,” he said.

“Some young girls were removing masks and sitting close to each other and seeing or speaking on the mobile phone. People were eating ice cream after removing their masks without maintaining physical distance. On the streets, a few persons were found without masks also. But the percentage of such people was very low,” he said.

The campaign in more than 100 crowded streets in Chennai on Friday was to sensitise residents to the need for avoiding a post-festival spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Such activities have been undertaken in other places too, including in districts. We have collected a fine of ₹9.06 crore in the State under the Public Health Act, 1939. A total of 11.1 lakh persons have violated rules,” Dr. Radhakrishnan said.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 5:01:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/radhakrishnan-leads-campaign-to-prevent-spike-in-virus-cases/article33097805.ece

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