As Omicron cases rise, Stalin appeals to people to strictly toe COVID norms

According to expert advice, there is no change in relaxations already in vogue, an official release here said apparently indicating that no fresh restriction is contemplated as of now.

Published: 24th December 2021 09:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th December 2021 11:18 PM   |  A+A-

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin (Photo | EPS)


CHENNAI: In view of expert opinion that the coronavirus spread, including that of the Omicron strain, may increase if public gathered in large numbers during festivals, people must avoid crowding and strictly follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said here on Friday.

Stalin, after chairing a high level consultative meeting appealed to the people to fully cooperate with the government to curb the virus spread.

With Tamil Nadu reporting 34 cases of Omicron variant so far and considering Christmas and New Year celebrations besides the harvest festival of Pongal next month, Stalin held a meeting of medical, public health experts and top officials at the Secretariat.

According to expert advice, there is no change in relaxations already in vogue, an official release here said apparently indicating that no fresh restriction is contemplated as of now.

Considering expert opinion that the virus-Omicron spread may increase if people crowded in public places during the festival season, Stalin appealed to the people to avoid gathering in large numbers.

Also, they should follow guidelines like wearing mask and maintaining social distance.

People who are yet to be vaccinated should get their dose in camps being held by local bodies and the health department.

All shops, commercial complexes and cinemas should compulsorily follow guidelines to prevent the virus spread and adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure, the Chief Minister said.

"I appeal to the people to extend their full cooperation to the government in curbing the virus spread."

Chief scientist, WHO, Soumya Swaminathan, Director, ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, Dr Manoj Murhekar, Director of Vellore Christian Medical College, Dr J V Peter, and specialist in infectious diseases, Dr V Ramasubramaniam were among the experts who rendered advice on curbing the virus spread.

After hovering over 600 new Covid-19 cases a day, Tamil Nadu has added 597 infections to the caseload which is 27,42,821 till date, the Health Department said on Friday.

The death toll mounted to 36,714 with seven of them succumbing to the virus during the last 24 hours, a bulletin said.

Recoveries outnumbered new infections with 681 people getting discharged in the last 24 hours, aggregating to 26,99,309 leaving 6,798 active infections.

A total of 1,02,947 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined to 5,67,25,248.

Chennai and Coimbatore accounted for the majority of new infections with 146 and 90 cases respectively, while the remaining were spread across other districts.

As many as 24 districts reported new infections below 10.

Ariyalur and Theni recorded zero cases, the bulletin said.

Four returnees from the United Kingdom, one each from Africa, Europe and Andhra Pradesh tested positive for the virus, the bulletin said.

Meanwhile, popular Tamil film comedian Actor Vadivelu was admitted to a private hospital in the city after he reportedly tested Covid-19 positive following his arrival from the United Kingdom.

Currently, all the passengers arriving from "at risk" countries, which include United Kingdom, are mandated to undergo RT-PCR testing at the international airport here as the threat of Omicron variant of Covid-19 looms large.


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