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Chennai Hyderabad March 22, 23 Highlights: As cases continue to rise, TN records 1385 fresh cases, 10 deaths

Tamil Nadu Telangana Coronavirus Assembly Elections 2021 March 22, 23 Highlights: A total of 37 passengers who had returned to Tamil Nadu from UK and 20 of their primary contacts have tested positive for COVID-19 till date.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Hyderabad |
Updated: March 24, 2021 9:06:29 am
Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Trains, Railway StationPassengers queue up to buy tickets at a suburban station in Chennai. Express Photo: Srinivas K

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections COVID-19 March 22, 23 Highlights: Tamil Nadu recorded 1385 positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state tally to 8,68,367. Among these, Chennai reported 496 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,42,115. The state recorded 10 deaths on Monday, putting the state toll at 12,609. Nine of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 659 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,47,139.

A total of 37 passengers who had returned to Tamil Nadu from UK and 20 of their primary contacts have tested positive for COVID-19 till date. Among the 37 primary cases, nine cases were reported in Chennai, three each in Thanjavur and Nilgiris, five each in Madura and Chengalpattu, seven in Trichy and one each in Theni, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore, Karur and Virudhunagar. Among the 20 contact cases, six were reported in Chennai, three in Thanjavur, two each in Nilgiris and Theni, four in Chengalpattu and three in Nagapattinam.

Kovilpatti in southern Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district may be one of the most-watched constituencies in this Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, with AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran — who has a lot more at stake than just this poll win — announcing his candidature from here. Also in the race is powerful AIADMK minister Kadambar Raju.

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Catch the latest news in Chennai and Hyderabad as we bring you live updates on Tamil Nadu Elections 2021, COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19, lockdown 6.0 and phase 6 of the unlock across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and more through the day. Also read Karnataka Bengaluru news

18:27 (IST)23 Mar 2021
PM to address election meeting at Dharapuram in TN on March 30

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address an election meeting on March 30 at Dharapuram from where BJP State unit president L Murugan is contesting the April 6 assembly elections, party sources said on Tuesday.

Modi, who launched the party campaign in Coimbatore on February 25, is expected to arrive at the city airport at 10.20 am and leave by helicopter for Dharapuram in Tirupur district, the sources said.

After the meeting, the prime minister will return to the city around 2.20 pm and leave for Chennai. (PTI)

17:42 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Dhanush wins his second National Award, thanks Vetrimaaran for believing in him

Actor-filmmaker Dhanush on Tuesday took to his Twitter page to express his happiness over winning his second National Award in the Best Actor category. “I woke up to this amaziing news of being honoured with the Prestigious national award for ASURAN. To win one best actor award is a dream, to win Two is nothing short of a blessing. I never imagined I would come this far,” wrote Dhanush in his statement.

Dhanush thanked his parents and his brother Selvaraghavan, who he considers as his first acting “guru.” And he thanked director Vetrimaaran for casting him as Sivasami in Asuran, as he briefly reflected on how their partnership has evolved over the years.

“Vetri, never thought when I met you at Balu Mahendra sir’s office that you would become a friend, companion and a brother. I am so proud of the four films we have worked together and the two films we have produced together. I am very glad you chose to believe in me so much and I chose to believe in you. Now can’t wait to hear what you have written for me next. A big hug (sic),” he added.

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17:14 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Chennai Corporation issues notification against relaxed vaccination rules

With news of COVID-19 vaccines available for those above the age of 20 doing the rounds on social media, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has issued a notification stating that such news are fake. At present, the GCC said that only senior citizens and those with comorbidities over the age of 45 are eligible for the shot.

16:47 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Tamil Nadu colleges to conduct classes online amid Covid-19 surge

Tamil Nadu government Monday ordered all the educational institutions under the control of the higher education department and deemed universities to conduct online classes from March 23 due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the state.

A G.O. issued by chief secretary Rajeev Ranjan said all practical classes and practical examinations for science/ engineering/ polytechnic stream students must be completed before March 31. The decision was taken after the chief secretary chaired a meeting alongside the vice-chancellors of all the universities under the aegis of Higher Education Department, the Director of Technical Education, and Director of Collegiate Education on Monday.

“The Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has also opined that there are reports emerging of the cluster from colleges/ hostels and considering trends in many states, these clusters have potential to spread disease in their place of residence and surrounding community,” the order read.

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16:21 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Chennai: 40 employees of IT firm near Perungudi test Covid-19 positive

As many as 40 employees have tested positive at an information technology company near Perungudi in Rajiv Gandhi Salai. As per health officials, initially, four cases were identified, and upon further testing of at least 364 samples, 36 were found positive. All the patients have been isolated and are undergoing treatment.

A resident of Thuraipakkam reportedly contracted the virus a couple of days ago, and when officials from the municipal corporation traced his contacts, it led them to the fifth floor of an IT building in the Perungudi zone.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Health Secretary Radhakrishnan called the spread a chain of clusters as the employees of the firm in the building had moved to other branches of the company in Taramani and Kandhanchavadi.

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15:30 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Six TN fishermen injured in 'attack' by Lankan pirates

Six Tamil Nadu fishermen sustained injuries after being attacked mid-sea allegedly by a group of Sri Lankan pirates off Kodiakarai coast.

According to Coastal Security Group police, the fishermen from Seruthur hamlet in the district were attacked when they were fishing about 13 knots South East of Kodiakarai coast on Monday night. They had ventured into the sea from Kodiakarai on March 21. 

Fifteen Lankan pirates came in two fast crafts and 'attacked' the tamil fishermen with iron rods, snatched all valuables including fish catch, fishing nets, GPS equipment and pushed them into the water, before fleeing the scene, they said. The injured fishermen were struggling in the water for nearly an hour. Another group of Nagapattinam fishermen passing through the spot rescued and brought them to shore this morning.

The fishermen have been admitted to government hospitals in Nagapattinam and Vailankanni, they added. 

Fisheries department officials and CSG police conducted enquiries and are investigating. (PTI)

14:54 (IST)23 Mar 2021
‘Operation Thiruvallur’ launched to safely dispose unexploded ordnance in Tamil Nadu

Nearly 10 tonnes of unexploded ordnance from a metal scarp dump in Thiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu will be segregated and destroyed by Army personnel. The operation, which began today, will continue for another three to five days.

The metal scrap dump, now covered with undergrowth, had been left unattended for years after a blast had killed a factory worker.

The operation involves meticulous and high-risk segregation of the unexploded ordnance, officials said. Troops from the Southern Command with expertise in handling bombs and explosive devices are involved in the disposal.

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14:08 (IST)23 Mar 2021
COVID-19 surge continues in Telangana, 412 new infections added

The daily coronavirus tally in Telangana crossed the 400 mark on Monday with 412 fresh additions, taking the total caseload to 3.03 lakh, a state government bulletin said on Tuesday. With three more deaths the toll rose to 1,674, it said. As many as 3,151 patients were undergoing treatment.   

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation reported the maximum of 103 cases followed by Nirmal 32, Medchal Malkajgiri  31 and Ranga Reddy districts 27. The state has been witnessing a gradual rise in cases for the past several days with a large number of infections being reported from a few schools in the state.

A total of 68,171 samples were tested on March 22. Cumulatively, the number of samples tested was 97.18 lakh. According to the bulletin, 216 people had recovered on Monday taking the total number of recoveries to2.99 lakh.

The recovery rate and case fatality rate in the state was 98.41 per cent and 0.55 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, an official release said the vaccine wastage in the state stood at 0.81 per cent. (PTI)

13:18 (IST)23 Mar 2021
New flight on Mysuru-Chennai route from March 29

A new flight service will be introduced between Mysuru and Chennai from March 29, catering to the demand raised by air passengers on the route. Confirming the same, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha said the flight introduced by IndiGo will operate thrice a week from March 29.

According to IndiGo, the flight is scheduled to leave Mysuru at 4.35 pm to reach Chennai at 5.55 pm. On its return direction, the flight will take-off from Chennai at 2.50 pm to land in Mysuru at 4.15 pm.

12:40 (IST)23 Mar 2021
234 fever clinics conducted in Chennai Monday

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) conducted 234 fever clinics in Chennai on Monday. A total of 18,743 people attended the clinics, with swabs collected from 93 people who were identified with ILI symptoms, while others were provided with medication for minor ailments.

The most number of camps were held in Tondiarpet (Zone 4) where 39 camps had been set up, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least with three camps.

12:00 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Ask political parties to follow COVID-19 norms in poll-bound TN, Madras HC tells EC

Amid a spurt in coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court on Monday directed the Election Commission to advise all political parties contesting the April 6 Assembly election to strictly comply with the COVID-19 protocol.

The first bench, consisting of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, which gave the direction, however, rejected the plea to restrain political outfits from campaigning in view of the recent spurt in Covid cases. The judges were disposing of a public interest writ petition from A Jalaludeen of Madurai.

Political parties should ensure that the voters and candidates and their associates wore masks and maintain the mandatory distance without any exception. It is for the EC to send this message to the political parties, the judges added. (PTI)

11:40 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Telangana: 60 injured as spectators’ gallery collapses at kabaddi match

At least 60 persons were injured when a spectators’ gallery collapsed on the opening day of the junior National Kabbadi Championship in Suryapet town in Telangana.

The stadium’s gallery was overcrowded and it collapsed just a few minutes after the game started, according to sources. The match was halted and the police evacuated the stadium.

According to news agency Press Trust of India (PTI), all the injured were hospitalised. Of them, five or six have suffered fractures. The severity of the injuries sustained by the others was yet to be known, PTI quoted the police as saying.

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11:25 (IST)23 Mar 2021
15 days & counting in Telangana town: politics and distrust keep pot boiling

On Monday, as the weekly market at Bhainsa, a town in Nirmal district of Telangana, opened for the first time in 10 days, people rushed to replenish supplies. Yet, the air was still and heavy with tension.

On the evening of March 7, a couple of skirmishes, first over a lost goat and then over a minor accident involving a motorcycle, had flared into rioting and arson in the town. While police managed to control the situation in a few hours, there was more to follow — on March 10, as anger over the rape of a three-year-old girl spilled over, the town saw more violence and arson. Twelve persons were injured and the administration imposed Section 144.

Police have so far registered 28 FIRs related to separate incidents that occurred from March 7 to 10. In the rape case, police arrested a 14-year-old 24 hours later and registered a POCSO case against him.

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11:04 (IST)23 Mar 2021
At 47, Telangana woman swims across the Palk Strait, sets eyes on crossing English Channel next

Upon setting her foot on the shores of Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad’s Goli Syamala stood tall and proud. On Friday afternoon, the 47-year-old achieved the unique feat of successfully swimming across the Palk Strait, a distance of over 30 miles through open sea between Sri Lanka and India, in 13 hours and 45 minutes.

Speaking to over the phone from Rameswaram, before heading home, she said she wanted to swim across the Palk Strait in 10 hours. “I crossed the Sri Lankan waters in 5 hours. The Indian side was very rough. I struggled a lot due to strong currents.”

Even as a boat with a 14-member crew, including a doctor and observers from the Swimming Federation of India, followed her through the open seas, Syamala says she never thought of giving up.

“The waves kept pushing me back and forth. It was a do-or-die situation and I never doubted myself. I had only Dhanushkodi in my mind,” recalls Syamala. Instead of breaking for refreshment every half-an-hour, Syamala preferred breaks every hour. “I preferred liquid diets like watermelon juice, water, and home-made energy drinks. The focus was on finishing in the best time,” she adds.

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10:52 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Fisherfolk in two TN villages announce poll boycott condemning ban on purse seine nets

Hundreds of fishermen belonging to Chandrapadi and Thirumullaivasal villages in Mayiladuthurai district have announced that they would boycott the April 6 assembly polls in protest against the ban on purse seine nets.

With a view to preserving the fishing resources, the Tamil Nadu government banned fishing using purse seine nets in the year 2000 under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Marine Fishing Regulations Act, 1983. The ban was upheld by the Madras High Court in  2018. Since then fisheries authorities are strictly enforcing the ban.

Stating that the ban was affecting their livelihood, fishermen ofthe two villages have long been demanding lifting of the ban. Pressing the demand, hundreds of people, including a large number of women, resorted to a hunger strike at Chandrapadi and Thirumullaivasal separately on Monday.

They have announced that they would boycott the assembly polls. (PTI)

10:35 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Tamil Nadu elections: TTV hoped seat in bag, CPM man with jhola stands in the way

Kovilpatti in southern Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district may be one of the most-watched constituencies in this Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, with AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran — who has a lot more at stake than just this poll win — announcing his candidature from here. Also in the race is powerful AIADMK minister Kadambar Raju. But several voters in Kovilpatti have their eyes on a third candidate — the self-effacing K Srinavasan, contesting on the ticket of the CPM, which is a part of the DMK-led alliance, who has been working here quietly since long.

A fourth contestant, from Kamal Haasan’s MNM, is barely making his presence felt.

Kovilpatti is a dry land largely known for the best kadalai mittai (made of peanut and jaggery) in South India. While it also has several firecracker manufacturing units, as an extension of nearby Sivakasi, its biggest industry is matches, employing over two lakh people.

It is as a leader of the match industry workers, whose jobs are threatened by automation, that Srinivasan first made his mark. He has been a councillor three times and the municipal chairman once. On Monday, the match workers began a strike seeking government help.

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10:12 (IST)23 Mar 2021
212 flights to fly between Chennai and major cities today

A total of 212 flights will be operated between Chennai and major cities today, with 106 arrivals and 106 departures scheduled at the Chennai International Airport.

09:53 (IST)23 Mar 2021
HC upholds Tamil Nadu government's "all pass" order

The Madras High Court on Monday upheld the Tamil Nadu government's "all pass" order for students of class 9, 10 and 11 without conducting the final examinations.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy upheld the GO passed by the Education department on February 25 this year, while disposing of a public interest writ petition from an association of teachers.

The schools can hold aptitude tests before admitting the students in relevant streams in class 11, the judges added and directed the department to issue necessary guidelines in this regard.

Earlier, Chief Minister K Palaniswami had announced in the assembly that these students will not have to take the exams, as he declared them "all pass" this academic year in view of the coronavirus pandemic. (PTI)

09:30 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Surging COVID-19 cases: TN asks colleges to shift to online mode of teaching

Close on the heels of closure of schools in the backdrop of surging COVID-19 cases, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday asked higher education institutions to switch to online teaching and said semester exams will also be conducted on the virtual mode.

A Government Order to this effect was issued after Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan held discussions with Vice Chancellors, all of whom "opined that the classes can be conducted online. The heads also said 70-80 per cent syllabus has been covered, the GO said, adding that practical classes and examination for science students were going on.

"The Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has also opined that there are reports emerging of clusters from colleges/hostels and considering trends in many states, these clusters have the potential to spread disease in their place of residence and surrounding community," the GO said. 

The government subsequently directed institutions under the control of Higher Education Department and deemed universities "to conduct classes online from March 23 onwards with six days working."

All practical classes shall be completed before March 31 and the "semester examination will be (held) online," it added. (PTI)

09:14 (IST)23 Mar 2021
Rs 231 cr worth seizure effected in poll-bound TN so far, says CEO

Seizure of cash and kind valued at Rs 231.63 crore has been recovered by various enforcement agencies in poll-bound Tamil Nadu so far, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said on Monday. 

Sahoo, responding to reporters' queries on the sudden spurt in coronavirus cases in the state and if it will have a bearing on the polls, said "everything is going as per plan and we are in close touch with the health department."

"And whatever Standard Operating Procedures they are asking us to follow or asking the general public to being done.. so election will be held (as planned)," he said.

Listing out details of the seizure done by flying squads, static surveillance teams, IT personnel and others, Sahoo said cash constituted Rs 83.99 crore out of the Rs 231 crore recovery. Precious metals, apparently gold, worth Rs 130.51 crore and liquor valued at Rs 1.70 crore have also been seized, he added.

Over 2,000 complaints regarding violation of model code of conduct have been received and cases filed, he said, adding preventive arrest of 8,158 persons has been effected. (PTI)

Vetri Vel Yatra, Vetri Vel Yatra dates, BJP Vetri Vel Yatra, Tamil Nadu Vetri Vel Yatra, Tamil Nadu elections, TN govt on Vetri Vel Yatra, Indian Express Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. (File Photo)

Responding to Opposition leader M K Stalin’s remark that Edappadi K Palaniswami became the Chief Minister by “crawling” in front of V K Sasikala, the CM Sunday shot back saying it was Stalin’s late father, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who had grabbed the CM post after C N Annadurai’s death in 1969, by “deceiving” party leader V R Nedunchezhiyan, or “Navalar”.

READ | Explained: Why EPS is wrong in drawing a Karunanidhi comparison

Upon setting her foot on the shores of Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad’s Goli Syamala stood tall and proud. On Friday afternoon, the 47-year-old achieved the unique feat of successfully swimming across the Palk Strait, a distance of over 30 miles through open sea between Sri Lanka and India, in 13 hours and 45 minutes.

READ | At 47, Telangana woman swims across the Palk Strait, sets eyes on crossing English Channel next

For assistance on COVID-19-related queries and mental health support in Chennai, citizens can contact the Greater Chennai Corporation's (GCC) COVID-19 helpline 044 46122300 | Citizens can find the nearest GCC-facilitated COVID-19 fever clinic here | For lodging rain-related complaints and assistance during the monsoon, citizens can contact the GCC's monsoon helplines 044 25384530 or 044 25384540 or the control room 1913 (available 24x7)

Chennai Hyderabad March 19 Highlights

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