Tamil Nadu

Do not force government to impose lockdown, says Chief Minister Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Reiterating that the public must comply with all restrictions imposed by the Tamil Nadu government to control the spread of COVID-19, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Sunday urged them not to force the hand of the government to impose strict lockdown restrictions.

In a recorded video clipping, the Chief Minister said, “People should not become a reason [for the spread of COVID-19] themselves by crowding [public places]. I strongly request you all not to force the government to impose restrictions.”

Since vaccination was the best weapon available against the pandemic, Mr. Stalin reiterated that people take both doses of the vaccine. “We are exhausting the vaccines being given by the Union government. We are also additionally procuring vaccines. The number of vaccines given by the Union government in phases is not sufficient. But we are providing vaccines to the people as they come,” he said.

Doctors are saying that the third wave may be worse than the first and second waves, and it may be like the Spanish flu, the Chief Minister said. Pointing to repeated attacks by the Zika virus and the Delta and Delta Plus COVID-19 variants, Mr. Stalin said, “We will win over them. Step out of your house only if it is absolutely necessary. Always wear two masks and do not remove them while in public places.”

Recalling the reasons behind allowing the reopening of shops so that the people can get their requirements, he said people are failing to follow norms by not wearing masks or by crowding in public places. “I am pained to see that people do not have awareness,” he said.

Explaining the rationale behind allowing authorities across the State, including Chennai, to impose restrictions in crowded areas, Mr. Stalin said people should not violate norms. The pandemic has been affecting people across the country for over 18 months now. Various precautionary measures taken by the government, medical infrastructure in Tamil Nadu and the dedicated service of doctors, nurses and medical staff helped the State government control the pandemic so far, he noted.

“We have only controlled the second wave but have not put a full stop to it. Since it is contagious, we could not,” Mr. Stalin said.

Even in countries that claimed to have halted the infection, fresh cases were being reported, he said. “In neighbouring States like Kerala and Karnataka, the cases are increasing. In Maharashtra, the cases are increasing. There are various challenges in controlling the spread in crowded areas,” he pointed out. Observing that the government had the responsibility to control the spread of COVID-19, he said a complete lockdown controlled the spread but as relaxations were allowed, the spread resurfaced. “Be it a third wave or any other wave, the Tamil Nadu government has the power to face it,” the Chief Minister said.

Though medical infrastructure in the State was available, people should avoid the infection, he said, and added that, “Compared to the first wave, the second was different. The third wave may be different than the second. Since the virus’ character should be studied to be certain, people should not be careless.”

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 1:18:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/do-not-force-government-to-impose-lockdown-says-chief-minister-stalin/article35672578.ece

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