The next session of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly is likely to be held outside the historic Fort St. George owing to the threat of COVID-19. Indicating change of venue for the next session due to the pandemic, Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal said things are only in preliminary stage and that the final decision will be be announced.
“We have inspected the Kalaivanar Arangam following a request to identify a safe venue to hold the assembly session due to the threat posed by COVID-19. Nothing has been finalised. The decision will be made known,” he told reporters.
The Kalaivanar Arangam, a huge multi-purpose auditorium, offers ample space to ensure the social distancing norms for legislators and in addition provides spacious parking space.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrated across state with fervour
Vinayaka Chaturthi was celebrated across Tamil Nadu with usual fervour on Saturday, although the trademark large idols of the elephant God were missing this year in lines with a government directive in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami held prayers at his residence in his native Salem, strictly following COVID-19 protocols–social distancing and wearing mask– with his family.
The Tamil Nadu government had earlier banned installation of large Ganesha idols in public places in the state besides public worship and processions before the immersion of the idols in water bodies. The government had appealed to the people to confine the celebrations to their homes.
On Saturday, citizens turned up in good numbers to buy clay idols of the Lord to conduct puja at homes and in some places were seen compromising on social distancing norms. Most temples were out of bounds for devotees.
Ahead of the festival, the Hindu Munnani, which is instrumental in organising the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and immersion, had appealed to the people to celebrate the Pillaiyar Chaturthi safely due to the pandemic. Although the Hindu Munnani announced it would install about 1.5 lakh idols of Lord Ganesh, the number is likely to be lower, a senior functionary said.
In Coimbatore, nine VHP activists were detained for trying to defy the ban and installing Ganesh idols at different locations in the city, police said, even as 2,500 police personnel were deployed to keep a strict vigil on the violators in and around the city.
399 fever clinics conducted in Chennai
A total of 399 fever clinics were conducted in Chennai on Saturday. A total of 13,163 people visited the camps with swabs collected from 875 individuals. 878 people with ILI symptoms were identified and tested for COVID-19, while medicines were provided for those with minor illnesses.
Teynampet (Zone 9) had the most camps with 50 camps conducted, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least six camps.
399 Fever clinics were conducted in Chennai today. 13,163 people attended the clinics and 878 symptomatic patients were identified & tested for COVID-19 and others given medicines for minor ailments.#Covid19Chennai#GCC #Chennai#chennaicorporation pic.twitter.com/7HlHWIiOAa
— Greater Chennai Corporation (@chennaicorp) August 22, 2020
5,980 fresh cases, 80 deaths reported
Tamil Nadu Saturday reported 5,980 fresh Covid-19 cases taking its overall tally to 3,73,410. With 80 fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours, the death toll rose to 6,420.
A total of 5,603 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the recovery count to 3,13,280. There are still 53,710 active cases in the state.
Among the deceased, eight had no comorbid conditions. The state tested 73,547 samples and 71,670 persons on Saturday.
As many as 1,294 cases and 11 deaths were reported in Chennai on Saturday. Till date, 1,24,071 cases have been reported in the city.
Neighbouring Chengalpattu (406), Thiruvallur (384) and Kancheepuram (257) reported 1046 cases. Cases continued to rise in other districts too with Coimbatore (389), Cuddalore (309) and Salem (288) reporting maximum cases.
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