Amid fears of a third Covid wave, Tamil Nadu today extended till October 31 a ban on public festivities and any gathering of a religious, political or cultural nature. Chief Minister MK Stalin’s administration is apprehensive about these events turning into super-spreaders of the infection.
The DMK-led state government pointed towards Kerala’s battle with the pandemic and a resurgent Nipah infection to extend the ban. It also cited the Centre’s advisory on a possible third Covid wave sweeping the country in the months of September or October.
Tamil Nadu today reported 1,596 fresh cases of Covid infection, along with 1,534 recoveries and 21 deaths in the past 24 hours. Four districts saw the most number of the new infections: Coimbatore registered 224, Chennai 186, Erode 130, and Chengalpet 108.
“Though the daily tally is low, some districts are recording higher numbers,” Chief Minster Stalin said today. “Celebrate festivals at home. Avoid crowded places and travelling by public transport.”
The state’s active cases now stand at 16,221, with the overall fatality at 35,094.
Mr Stalin’s administration has suspended public transport service to neighbouring Kerala. The state has intensified screening of passengers from Kerala, insisting on a 72-hour RTPCR negative to travel to Tamil Nadu.
It is also focusing on intensifying the inoculation drive in districts like Coimbatore, Tenkasi, and Theni bordering the coastal state. On this Sunday, the government aims to vaccinate all eligible residents of nine such districts. This drive will see 20 lakh doses being administered across the state.
Kerala is experiencing unrelenting high Covid numbers for the past many weeks, although most cases are reportedly mild and under home treatment.
Tamil Nadu has, meanwhile, relaxed the norms for functions involving the garlanding of freedom fighters’ statues by District Collectors.