The authorities geared up for the day of total lockdown today. Last Sunday’s lockdown, was quite successful, according to the authorities, who expect the people to remain indoors and only medical services and milk supply would be allowed.
The increase in number of cases in the districts – Kallakurichi 102, Kanchipuram 119, Kanyakumari 133, Madurai 277, Salem 136, Theni 119, Thiruvallur 346, Thoothukudi 175, Tiruchy 128 and Vellore 135 – has come as a challenge to the officials to ensure that the Sunday lockdown was implemented fully in places outside Chennai, too.
Chennai can be delivered from the shackles of Covid-19 with people’s cooperation, said the State Health Secretary, J Radhakrishnan, even as new infections in the city went down to 1185 against a State total of 3965 on Saturday.
An additional 500 beds would come up for Coronavirus patients in Chennai, Radhakrishnan said after inspecting medical facilities at Athipattu near Ambattur and added that the fatalities were brought down because of the proactive efforts made by the government to combat the pandemic.
He denied the charge that the government was ignoring Siddha system of medicine in trying to figure ways to handle the Coronavirus crisis and said that formulations of Indian systems of medicine were being given to patients at the institutional centres.
The State had even set up isolation centres in localities that were far away from hospitals and all efforts were being made to take the facilities to more number of people, he said.
Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash, who was at Injambakkam in connection with the launching of a free dialysis centre, told media persons that 81 groups had been formed to keep an eye on social distancing and face mask wearing by the people.
He said all markets were being monitored through CCTV cameras and other means to ensure that there was no breach of norms on social distancing in crowded places. The series of awareness campaigns carried out in the city had led to 80 per cent of the people wearing face masks while stepping out.
If the entire population could be made to wear masks, the spread of Covid-19 would well come under control, he said.
The Commissioner said that clear instructions had been given to food delivery staff to maintain social distance while in crowded places and also while making deliveries. There are about 7000 food delivery staff in Chennai, he said.
Banks had been instructed to put on hold non-essential services with a view to keeping as many people as possible from visiting the branches, he said.
Acceding to a demand from the community of physically challenged people to appoint their members as monitoring staff, four persons had been recruited, he said.
Meanwhile, the government decided to hold a Cabinet meeting, headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy, to discuss the lockdown, pandemic and related issues like holding of examinations for college and university students and come up with plans for the future on Tuesday....