Despite appeals by the State government, many shoppers for the Deepavali festival failed to adhere to COVID-19 norms and were found without masks.
As on Wednesday, a total of 11,274 positive cases were reported in the district with 10,340 discharges, 800 active cases and 134 deaths. Though most of the districts had reported significant drop in daily cases in the past three weeks, the average cases reported in the district continues to be 70 to 120 as health officials warn people to avoid overcrowding and also ensure wearing of masks in public places. But, many shoppers were found not wearing masks in busy market areas on R.K.V. Road, Manikoondu, Kongalamman Kovil Street, Sakthi Road and other busy stretches in the city.
Awareness messages on the need to wear masks and maintain personal distancing were disseminated in market areas through public address systems, giant screens and by the police at the temporary watch towers. Civic body officials also continue to collect fines of ₹ 200 from persons for not wearing masks and also for spitting. However, people failed to follow the basic norms to keep them away from COVID-19, said an official at the health department. He said that on an average over 80 cases were reported everyday in the district and fear that cases will go up after the festival if people fail to wear the masks.
Corporation Commissioner M. Elangovan told The Hindu that traders and shopkeepers were instructed not to sell products to customers who were not wearing masks. He requested the public to adhere to norms to protect themselves and their family.
On an average the corporation levies fine on 40 to 50 people for not wearing masks while the police, revenue and health department also levies fine on the violators.