Chennai Buzz: COVID updates for the city | Vaccine awareness drive| Koyambedu market to be shut…and more

Weekly recap of important news from your city

Penalty reintroduced for violation of COVID norms

On April 8th, Chennai saw 1,520 new COVID cases and 515 recoveries. There were six deaths. Currently, 11,633 patients are under treatment. 

In view of the rise in the number of cases, the Greater Chennai Corporation has reintroduced penalties for violation of COVID-19 safety norms. The civic body has set a target of Rs 10 lakh every day to be collected from those who violate rules of masking, social distancing and other protocol. Among the 15 zones, Royapuram and Teynampet have the highest target of Rs 1.5 lakh a day, followed by Kodambakkam with Rs 1.25 lakh a day. Here are the details of the penalty:

Not wearing masksRs 200
Violation of quarantine rulesRs 500
Spitting in public spaces/gatherings and violation of physical distancing normsRs 500
Commercial establishments violating SoPs Rs 5,000

Source: The Times of India

Volunteers to create awareness on vaccine

As Chennai is seeing instances of vaccine hesitancy, the corporation has sent a notice to the zonal health officials and zonal medical officers urging them to use fever survey workers and Friend of COVID citizen Under Surveillance (FOCUS) volunteers to spread awareness and direct residents to the nearest vaccination site.

Read more: All you need to know to get your COVID vaccine in Chennai now

The corporation is planning toramp up the vaccination drive and increase the number of vaccine beneficiaries to 35,000 people a day. To achieve this, the state government has formed Field Support Teams (FST) for the 15 zones in Chennai. Three officials — one each from revenue, police and health departments — will be part of the FSTs in each of the 15 zones in Chennai.

Source: DT Next

Koyambedu retailers unhappy with COVID curbs

Koyambedu Vegetable Market Pic: Sri Loganathan

With fresh restrictions imposed in Chennai that also includes the closure of the Koyambedu market for retail trade, traders are unhappy with the move. It is to be noted that the shops were reopened a few months ago after seven months of lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 last year. With fresh curbs, the traders are now to look for alternate ways to keep their business afloat.

The officials of the Market Management Committee are unsure if all the 1,860 shops will be closed or only a part of them will be kept off the market.

Read more: Soil to platter: Where do the fruits we eat in Chennai come from?

The vendors have requested the government to consider permitting semi-wholesalers to function on a rotational basis to lessen the amount of financial burden that a total shutdown would cause.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Hindu

Chennai records 59.06% voter turnout

As the state went to Assembly polls on April 6th, the average voter turnout in Chennai district was 59.06%. The Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency registered the highest turnout of 66.57% in the city. 

Male voters recorded a higher turnout of 60.83% whereas the voter turnout among women stood at 57.44%.

In an incident that generated controversy, an assistant engineer attached to the corporation, a conservancy supervisor and a conservancy worker have been placed under suspension were found transporting two EVMs and a control unit in a two-wheeler in clear violation of the norms laid out by the Election Commission of India (ECI). The violation of the regulations has raised questions of transparency. The trio have been placed under suspension. However, no FIR has been filed so far.

Cheif Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo has said that a repoll could be likely for booth 92-M in Velachery as the EVM machine was attached to that booth.

Source: The Hindu | DT Next | The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]

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