Scant respect for COVID-19 protocols warrants stringent action in Tirunelveli

More than 80% of residents in Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai do not wear masks and maintain distancing the police said; fines are now being slapped on violators

Even as the Tamil Nadu government has updated its COVID-19 protocol anticipating a third Wave ahead of Pongal celebrations across the State, the scant respect being shown by the public for physical distancing and wearing of masks is compelling the district administrations to take stringent action against violators to control the massive number of infections anticipated till mid-February.

As the number of COVID-19 cases getting reported and admitted to the hospitals every day is on the rise after a lull following the second wave that caused more mortality ever since the viral infection started spreading across the globe in the first quarter of 2019, the Tirunelveli district administration has repeatedly cautioned the public against being complacent. in the wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing as they visit public places. Police Commissioner of Tirunelveli City N.K. Sentharamai Kannan too, warned the violators of fines for violating COVID-19 protocols.

However, the scant respect being shown by the public now warrants stringent action against the violators, it seems as More than 80% of people in Tirunelveli and Palayamkottai neither wear masks nor maintain physical distancing in public places including textile showrooms, restaurants, supermarkets, mega stores etc., police officials said.

“As our repeated appeals have failed to encourage the public to follow the COVID-19 protocols, we’ve been compelled to implement the rules forcibly to contain the sudden spurt in the viral infection. We’ve started deploying inspection teams to check violations at public places and any violations will be viewed seriously with fines,” says V. Vishnu, District Collector.

Mr. Senthamarai Kannan too has warned that the violation of COVID-19 protocols in public places would invite on-the-spot fines by the police.

On their part, the Tirunelveli District Police are also conducting COVID-19 awareness events in every part of rural Tirunelveli. Rallies, masks distribution, lectures in schools etc. are being held. “The police, who are now appealing to the public during awareness programmes to follow the COVID-19 protocols, will act tough hereafter as we are staring at the third wave with the Omicron threat looming large,” says P. Saravanan, Superintendent of Police, Tirunelveli..

Superintendent of Police, Tenkasi District, R. Krishnaraj distributed masks to the public in Tenkasi Bazaar on Thursday and appealed to them to strictly follow the protocol. “We appeal to every one of you to cooperate with the official machinery to contain the viral outbreak by wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing while visiting public places,” Mr. Krishnaraj said.

The police swung into action in Thoothukudi city on Thursday following widespread violations by slapping fine of Rs. 200 each on those who did not wear the masks when they conducted surprise checks near Cruz Fernandez Statue.

“This punitive measure will continue and become intense,” S. Jayakumar, Superintendent of Police, Thoothukudi, warned.

Led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Vilaathikulam, Prakash, the police organised awareness programmes in Vilaathikulam on Thursday by distributing masks to the public, autorickshaw drivers, traders and commuters while asking them to wear the protective coverings as mandated by the government whenever they came out of their houses. “Since the Tamil Nadu Government’s Department of Public Health has appealed to everyone to scrupulously follow the COVID-19 protocol in the wake of the Omicron threat, every citizen should cooperate with the official machinery in containing the outbreak,” Mr. Prakash appealed.

Residents of Ward 17 of Thoothukudi Corporation near Third Mile, in an attempt to encourage the occupants of their ward to get vaccinated for achieving 100% vaccination status, have announced prizes for three vaccinated persons to be selected through lots. The CPI(M) has taken this initiative to make this area of Thoothukudi Corporation become the ‘First 100% vaccination ward’.

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