Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao on Wednesday said that there were 455 persons, who had returned from various overseas locations back home, were under close surveillance by joint teams consisting of health, revenue and police respectively.
On the first day of the curfew announced by the Central and State governments to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, he appealed to the residents to stay indoors and help overcome the crisis. There was no need for panic as steps were taken to ensure that essential commodities like milk and vegetables were available. He warned the vendors of stern action under appropriate laws if they indulged in selling essential commodities at jacked up prices utilising the situation.
Visiting a few of the places in the district, Mr. Rao told reporters that social distancing was mandatory to fight or dislocate the virus from being active in the air. The governments had only, in the public interest, quarantined people who had visited and returned home from a few notified countries, which faced big threat of the COVID-19.
He said that apart from 100 beds exclusively ready for treating persons with symptoms of COVID-19 in Ramanathapuram Government Hospital, there was a 50-bed hospital in Paramakudi GH and another 30-bed each facility in Devipattinam and Parthinabur PHCs respectively. Persons can voluntarily visit the hospitals without any apprehension in the event of any fever, cough or cold. The Collector urged them not to indulge in self-medication under any circumstances.
While the curfew was ordered, tea shops, vegetable markets,fish market were open. People had thronged since 7 a.m. to buy the commodities. However, seeing the crowd, the officials, through public address system, instructed people to wind up their shopping. By 11 a.m., the shops had downed shutters. Until further orders, no tea shops shall remain open in the district, the Collector said.
The Collector checked the fumigation being carried out in some of the hospital premises. He also visited a few medical shops, where people had lined up to buy drugs. Interacting with them, he told to maintain adequate distance and avoid crowding.
The district police had seized 3,487 liquor bottles from across the district since March 22 and on a single day alone (March 25), seized 600 bottles from Rameswaram. SP V. Varun Kumar said in a press release that the police would register cases against those persons for illegal sale and hoarding. Discreet information had also revealed that TASMAC staff had connived with the vendors. Cases would be booked under the Disaster Management Act 2005, Epidemic Disease Act and under the IPC Sections, he warned. Public can continue to be in touch and share information with the police on the helpline at 94899 19722, the SP added.
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