Unmasked in public? Get ready to cough up fine of Rs 500 again in TN

Penalty returns as 18 more people at IIT-M test positive for Covid taking size of cluster to 30
Eighteen more at IIT-Madras test positive for Covid-19 | Ashwin Prasat h
Eighteen more at IIT-Madras test positive for Covid-19 | Ashwin Prasat h

CHENNAI: All Collectors have been asked to impose a fine of Rs 500 on those not wearing face masks in public places. Though use of masks in public places is mandatory in the State, after relaxation of other Covid-19 norms, the practice of wearing masks dropped considerably. But considering the new spurt in cases and emergence of new variants, the State reimposed the fine, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said on Friday.

“People have completely forgotten the need to wear masks. People are not wearing masks even in buses. We have instructed officials to tighten norms and collect fines,” Radhakrishnan told reporters. People must remember cases are increasing in countries like China. People from other States or countries must monitor their health and get tested if they have symptoms, he said.

Instruction has also been given to all Collectors to ensure symptomatic people, whether in schools, offices or other places, should first go to hospitals and get themselves checked and must not go directly to home. Contact tracing must also be intensified, he said.

Meanwhile, the number of positive cases in the Covid-19 cluster at IIT-M increased to 30 after 18 more tested positive on Friday. Health department and corporation staff decided to carry out a saturation test and collected samples from all 666 people present on IIT-M campus on Thursday. A separate isolation ward was created on the campus and all those positive are monitored.

All are stable and only one has fever. The cases may even touch 100, sources said. All those who had given samples for testing were asked to isolate themselves till they get their results. The institute has been told to make use of masks compulsory on campus. Thermal scanning and sanitisers are mandatory at all entry points to the institute.

These rules apply to other institutions, Radhakrishnan said. In a release, IIT-Madras said it is geared to meet exigencies. Our hospital is on high alert and being advised by the TN government. “IIT-Madras handled three waves and we believe lessons learnt during then will help us with current cases,” the release said.

1L mega vax camps on May 8
Health Minister Ma Subramanian said, for the first time, over one lakh Covid-19 mega vaccination camps will be conducted on May 8. The health workers go visit door-to-door and request the eligible people to take the vaccine.

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