Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus | Curbs likely to stay on Tamil Nadu schools, colleges, cinemas

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami chairs a meeting at the Secretariat in Chennai on October 28, 2020. Photo: Twitter/@CMOTamilNadu  

Schools, colleges and cinemas in Tamil Nadu may have to remain closed for some more time. Citing hard-won gains against COVID-19, District Collectors and other top officials said it would be prudent to bring down the numbers further before exploring the possibility of further relaxations.

At a meeting with Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday, officials said cinemas were a luxury at this point in time.

Also read | Tamil Nadu’s COVID-19 journey

Noting that schools in countries like the U.K. had seen a surge in cases, they urged caution on the issue of reopening schools.

A senior official said the State government was also waiting for the Centre to issue guidelines for the reopening of schools.

It is also learnt that a member of the medical committee felt that the government could look at allowing students of Classes 9 to 12 to attend classes in school. “But overall, the feeling was that there should not be any hurry to reopen schools and colleges,” the official said, adding that a few Collectors felt that a decision on reopening cinemas could be taken at a later date.

At the review meeting, Mr. Palaniswami said a decision on representations received from the film industry for the reopening of cinemas would be taken based on inputs from Collectors and the medical committee.

He expressed concern over the people’s lack of compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures. He said nearly 35% of the people were not wearing masks in spite of the State government’s efforts to create awareness.

“The Deepavali festival is around the corner. In Chennai, there are streets full of people, many of whom are not wearing masks. The police should continuously create awareness. Only then will we have a situation where everyone is wearing a mask and be able to stop the spread of the virus,” he said.

Despite efforts to bring the number of cases down, there had been a sudden spike in some districts, he said, and advised the Collectors to take steps to curb COVID-19.

“In some districts, the number of [daily] cases is above 100. Before Deepavali, it should be brought down to less than 100. In districts with less than 100 cases, the number should be brought down to below 50. In districts reporting less than 50 cases, it should be brought down to nil. I request district administrations to work towards ensuring that we move to a situation where there is no spread of COVID-19,” Mr. Palaniswami said.

The Chief Minister said Collectors should monitor whether proper treatment is being provided to patients and whether all protocols are being followed.

He also praised the district officials for the decline in cases and expressed confidence that very soon, the State would be free from the spread of the virus.

The Chief Minister also told the police department that some people were trying to create law and order problems in the State and urged them to be vigilant and keep a watch on them and keep the people of the State safe.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 11:48:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/coronavirus-curbs-likely-to-stay-on-tamil-nadu-schools-colleges-cinemas/article32967241.ece

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