QChennai: 508 New Cases in TN; TASMAC Won’t Open on 7 May
Top stories from Chennai and Tamil Nadu.
1. TN Records 508 COVID-19 Cases: More Than Half of Infections in Chennai
For the second consecutive day, Tamil Nadu has reported over 500 COVID-19 cases. With this new increase of 508, the state has recorded 4,058 patients affected by novel coronavirus of which close to 50% - 2,008 patients - are from Chennai. A large number of the new cases that have emerged on Tuesday too have been traced to the Koyambedu wholesale market cluster in Chennai, according to the bulletin released by the state Health Department.
No primary or unlinked source of infection was reported on Tuesday, with officials tracing a bulk of the infections to contact history.
Two persons also died due to COVID-19 on Tuesday taking the total number of fatalities to 33 in the state. A 56-year-old man admitted to Chennai’s Kilpauk Medical College Hospital on 26 April died due to COVID-19 on Monday at 6.20 pm. The patient had comorbidities.
2. TASMAC Shops Won't Open in Chennai on 7 May
In what may come as a disappointment to tipplers in Tamil Nadu's capital, the state government has decided that it will not open TASMAC liquor shops on 7 May, as previously decided. Chennai has witnessed a surge of cases in the last few days, forcing the government to postpone the date of opening state-run liquor shops in the city.
For the rest of the state however, liquor shops will open as planned. Visuals from Monday showed tipplers from border districts rushing to line up outside liquor shops in other states to purchase alcohol, paying no heed to physical distancing. Several opposition parties in the state had criticised the Tamil Nadu's government's decision to open liquor shops, when Chennai was still grappling with the pandemic.
3. Fuel Outlets to Work Longer Hours
Fuel outlets on highways are likely to remain open 24x7 and those outside containment zones till 5 pm.
A decision regarding extending timings for fuel outlets is to be taken shortly, according to Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Executive Director P Jayadevan.
Till Sunday, petrol pumps functioned till 1 pm but after the government relaxed lockdown norms, a section of pumps was open till 5 pm. However, dealers said at many places the police were not permitting them beyond 1 pm. “We have been following instructions from the respective district administrations,” said a dealer.
4. As COVID-19 Cases Spike in TN, Govt Says Asymptomatic Patients Can Stay at Home
On Tuesday, officials from the Tamil Nadu state government issued an order stating that only individuals with symptoms of coronavirus disease will be admitted to hospitals and that asymptomatic individuals would be isolated at their homes. This comes as per directions which were earlier advised by the Indian Medical Council of Research (ICMR).
Earlier in the last week of April, it was reported that almost 98% of the cases of coronavirus disease seen in Chennai alone were individuals who were asymptomatic for the disease. Asymptomatic individuals are those who have been infected with the virus but do not exhibit any symptoms of an infection, they are also called ‘carriers’ of the disease.
5. Wholesale Traders to Halt Business Till 10 May, as Koyambedu Market Shuts Down
After last-minute sales on Tuesday morning, the Koyambedu wholesale market was temporarily shut, as it had turned into a hotspot for COVID-19 in the State. Meanwhile, wholesale vegetable merchants have decided to halt trade till May 10 in the city.
While the available stock in the retail shops is considered to be enough to last for two or three days, the sudden closure of the wholesale hub may have an impact on the supply of vegetables and fruits in the city, according to wholesalers.
Officials in the Koyambedu Market Management Committee said one gate was kept open for the traders to wind up business till 10 am. “We plan to disinfect the entire market premises and clear the garbage. Normally, the market generates about 180-200 tonnes of garbage. We expect only up to 80 tonnes of garbage now, as there has been a decrease in the number of open shops and visitors,” said an official.
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