Ensure COVID-19 SOPs followed:TN CS tells officials

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Chennai, Mar 16 (PTI): With a surge in fresh COVID-19 cases of late, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan on Tuesday instructed various government department officials to ensure that COVID-19 standard operating procedures were strictly implemented.

At a review meeting, the chief secretary also instructed officials to fine those violating the guidelines.

An official release said the spread of virus has been increasing once again in various states including Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, New Delhi and Punjab.

The release said though Tamil Nadu was able to bring down daily fresh cases below the 500 mark in January and February, since March it has witnessed an upward trend, registering over 800 new infections a day.

The COVID-19 virus positivity rate has increased to two per cent in places like Chennai and Coimbatore while in districts like Chengalpet, Thiruvallur, Tiruppur,Kancheepuram, Thanjavur and Nagapattinam it is over one per cent.

Noting that the active cases, which was below 4,000 cases in the first week of March, has also increased, the release said the meeting discussed steps to be taken to control the virus spread.

A major reason for the the rise in new cases was attributed to the non-wearing of masks by members of the public and not following the COVID-19 protocol while taking part in functions, the release said.

People who were either 'asymptomatic' or with 'mild' symptoms were not following the home quarantine norms, thereby spreading it to other members of the family.

New cases have been reported in places like banks and other financial and educational institutions which have not adhered to the protocol laid down by the government, the release said.

Ranjan asked officials to ensure that the norms were strictly followed and also collect fines from those individuals who violate the regulations.

Proper sanitation should also be done at places like offices, companies and industries and where people throng in large numbers like public water taps and at public toilets.

An officer may be nominated to monitor places which has cluster formation of the virus besides stepping up the number of fever camps, he said.

Adequate steps should be taken to ensure eligible individuals receive their vaccine shots.

Patients who are in home quarantine should be monitored regularly similar to the practice followed last year, while departments concerned must give approval with the condition that the protocol should be strictly followed to hold any election campaign or religious and cultural events.

District collectors and Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner should strive to ensure that the virus sread is curtailed to ensure smooth conduct of election related works.

People should wear masks and maintain social distancing while going out and sanitise their hands regularly.

If they have any virus symptoms, they should visit the nearest government hospital, the release added.

Officials of revenue department, health and family welfare, Greater Chennai Corporation, DGP, district collectors and Greater Chennai police commissioner, among others, took part in the meeting.PTI VIJ BN BN