CHENNAI: The Directorate of Public Health (DPH) on Sunday announced that it is withdrawing the order making COVID-19 vaccination compulsory to be in a public space and other places where people gather. The order was issued on November 18, 2021 under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939.
Dr TS Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health, told Deputy Directors of Health Services (DDHS) that the decision was taken in view of the fall in COVID-19 cases, the Centre lifting all restrictions laid down to prevent spread of COVID-19, and the State achieving over 92 and 75 per cent of first and second doses COVID-19 vaccination among those above 18 years of age.
Selvavinayagam, however, instructed the DDHS, Chennai Corporation City Health Officer, and other public health officials to encourage public to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour such as observing social distance, wearing face masks, and washing hands frequently and avoiding crowds. He also instructed the officials to keep spreading awareness on the important role of vaccination.
In the notification issued on November 18, 2021, the DPH had instructed health officials to ensure that all the places notified under Section 71, Sub Section (1) are occupied by the persons "Who are vaccinated against COVID-19." Meanwhile, new Covid-19 cases in Chennai dropped to nine on Sunday; the State reported 23 cases.