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Over one third people in Tamil Nadu don't wear masks, says CM

Chennai's Koyambedu Market. Credit: DH Photo

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Wednesday rued that about 35 per cent of the people in the state don't wear mask, one of the preventive measures against Covid-19, and urged authorities to ensure strict implementation of the safety protocols.

The pandemic, however, was under control in the state due to a multi-pronged approach of the government, he said, reviewing the COVID-19 situation at a meeting with bureaucrats and district collectors.

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"In Tamil Nadu, over 35 per cent of the people don't wear mask. Therefore the (respective) district administration should take steps to ensure compliance by all," he said. Lack of awareness prompted people to throw caution to wind, he said

Ahead of the Deepavali season, many people here did not comply with the mask rule, he said, urging the authorities, especially the police, to step in and create awareness. Spraying disinfectants in regular intervals in affected areas was among the key to prevent the spread of the contagion, he added.

Detailing his government's efforts in handling the pandemic, he said so far Rs 7,372.25 crore had been spent on prevention, treatment and relief activities

Holding fever camps in all districts, conducting door-to-door checks for symptomatic persons, doing RT-PCR tests and isolating the infected people and treating them had resulted in a dip in fresh and active cases, he added.

As many as 6,75,518 people have been cured of the disease and the recovery rate was 94.57 per cent while the fatality rate was 1.53 per cent. "Due to the exemplary work of our doctors, positivity rate has been brought to 7.39 per cent," Palaniswami added.

The daily infections have been less than 5,000 for the past 17 days and dipped below 3,000 in the past four days. Active cases were less than 30,000, he added. Tamil Nadu's total coronavirus cases, as of Tuesday, stood at 7,14,235 with 10,983 deaths while the active cases were 27,734.

Even during this pandemic, the government signed 55 new investment proposals for Tamil Nadu worth Rs 40,718 crore which will create over 74,000 jobs, Palaniswami said. Without naming anyone, he hit out at the opposition for its criticism of the government's handling of the pandemic and said due to its various efforts, there was a "situation of return to normalcy".