'Night curfew, additional curbs may have to be clamped if present measures do not yield results'

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Chennai, Apr 9 (PTI) Night curfew and additional curbs may have to be clamped in Tamil Nadu if several efforts aimed at preventing the COVID-19 spread and bringing down the case load does not yield results, the government said on Friday.

If several measures to contain the virus like fever camps and reintroduction of some restrictions, effective April 10, did not yield the desired results, 'night curfew and additional curbs' may have to be imposed, it said.

The government had said that retail outlets in big vegetable markets like the Koyambedu complex here and similar large facilities in districts shall not be allowed to operate from April 10. This was among the restrictions the government had said would be put in place again.

Following this, retailers of Koyambedu market staged a protest inside the premises against the proposed ban on functioning of retail outlets from Saturday.

They urged the authorities to consider aligning retail business inside the complex here to help fight COVID-19 better, rather than impose a blanket ban.

Following talks with officials, traders hoped that the proposed ban would not be implemented. Authorities said clarity would emerge on Saturday.

All steps were being taken to tackle the 'second wave of coronavirus' the government said, adding it has been decided to conduct 'vaccination festivals' in all the districts from April 14 to 16.

This is to ensure 100 per cent vaccination for eligible sections of people, including health and frontline workers and those aged above 45.

Effective propagation of COVID appropriate behaviour, including social distancing and use of Indian systems of medicine wherever stipulated by experts, were among the other measures in place.

'Kabasurakudineer' is an immunity boosting Indian medicine and its consumption was advised by authorities last year.

The government said 34,87,036 people have so far been vaccinated, including 31,26,036 who were administered the first dose and 3,61,000 who received the second dose.

Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash said the number of cases in the city has seen about a 1,000 per cent jump in over a span of approximately 40 days.

From 125-150 cases a day, it has now climbed to 1,300 -1,500 cases per day, he said.

The Field Support Teams, assigned by the government to help combat the disease spread here, have been given a primer on the task at hand and would be in the field from tomorrow, he said.

The door to door survey to detect, among others, flu like symptoms, is being put in place with a strength of about 6,000 personnel, he said.

On Friday, Tamil Nadu reported 5,441 fresh virus cases and a total of 33,659 active cases.

Defending a proposal to impose fine again stringently, Prakash said without fining those who violate norms, COVID-19 appropriate behaviour cannot be ensured.

The fine structure in Tamil Nadu is relatively low, he said adding the idea is to cut down the disease spread within a time-limit.

According to existing norms, Rs 200 is the fine for not wearing a mask, Rs 500 for spitting in public places and Rs 5,000 for commercial establishments that violate the norms to help prevent virus spread.

To ensure effective COVID-19 preventive measures, the government reconstituted Field Support Teams for all 15 zones here and named Monitoring Officers for all the other 36 districts.

MOs are IAS officers and FSTs would also be led by such officials.

The government on Thursday announced reintroduction of curbs, including permission only for 50 per cent seating capacity in cinemas and a ban on select activities effective April 10 to help prevent virus spread. PTI VGN APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR