Tamil Nadu

Fine for failure to mask up to resume in Tamil Nadu

Commuters travelling on a suburban train without mask at Ambattur Railway station in Chennai on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: M. VEDHAN

Wearing of masks at public places has once again been made mandatory in Tamil Nadu, and non-compliance with the rule is punishable with a fine. Imposition of ₹500 in fine for failure to mask up will resume, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said on Friday.

“Use of masks is compulsory in the State. At no point in time was there an exemption from masking. We relaxed only the imposition of fine. We had fined nearly 60 lakh persons and collected ₹110 crore in fine. Now again, we have instructed all Collectors to strictly enforce wearing of masks in public places. Officials of the Public Health, Local Administration and Police Departments will impose a fine of ₹500 on violators,” he told reporters.

IIT cluster

The number of persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 on the campus of IIT Madras increased to 30, with another 18 samples returning positive. A total of 666 samples had so far been tested, he said.

“There are 19 hostels here. All preventive measures are being taken and work to expedite sample collection is on,” he said. Most of them had mild symptoms of sore throat and only one of them had a fever.

He added that the IIT administration was asked to establish isolation facilities on the campus. “Thermal screening and masking was low. We have asked them to tighten thermal screening at the entry points and provide sanitisers at various places,” he said.

The IIT administration was also told to isolate students till the test results arrived. “In Mandakini hostel, where the most number of cases — 16 — was reported, two floors should be earmarked as isolation facilities. A minimum of three isolation rooms should be earmarked for the remaining hostels,” he said. The Government Corona Hospital was kept ready if admission was required.

Noting that a number of persons from the other States had arrived on the campus in the last two weeks, he said samples were sent for whole genome sequencing too. “Self-health monitoring is important. If anyone has fever or sore throat, it is important to get checked,” he said.

“Such saturation testing could increase the number of positive cases to 60 to 70, or even up to 100. But more than worrying about the number, the clinical signs are important. So far, no lung involvement has been identified,” he added.

The official pointed out that there was an overall drop in thermal screening, the use of hand sanitisers and masking at public places. He said the testing would be increased to up to 25,000 in the State. The Health Secretary visited the IIT campus hostel, triaging centre, isolation centre and inspected the saturation testing.


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Printable version | Apr 24, 2022 7:28:10 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fine-for-failure-to-mask-up-to-resume-in-tamil-nadu/article65344543.ece