Only 25% of beds vacant in the city
On April 22nd, the city recorded the highest spike of 3,789 fresh COVID cases, 2572 discharges and 24 deaths.
As on April 20th, only around 25% of COVID beds are vacant in tertiary hospitals in Chennai. Of the 4368 available beds in the five institutions (Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Stanley, Kilpauk Medical College & Hospital, Omandurar and Kings), 3239 beds are occupied and 1129 beds are vacant. The city is already feeling the stress of rising cases as most private hospitals are also at capacity based on the data from the government dashboard.
Meanwhile, the Greater Chennai Police department has filed 15,846 cases against those who failed to wear masks in public places. Another 196 cases were booked exclusively for failing to adhere to the physical distancing norms and other COVID-safety protocols.
Source: The Hindu | The New Indian Express
Free vaccine for everyone
Serum Institute of India, manufacturer of Covishield, had announced that it will be selling the vaccine at a cost of Rs 400 per dose to state governments. Following this, the Tamil Nadu government has stated that vaccines will be provided free of cost for everyone. In the next phase of the vaccination drive that begins from May 1st, all persons above the age of 18 are eligible to get the jab.
With the state and city witnessing vaccine shortage, CM K Palaniswami has written to the centre seeking 20 lakh doses that could be used for 10 days. It is to be noted that an integrated vaccination complex in Chengalpet, near Chennai, is awaiting validation and commissioning. If the procedures are fast-tracked, the CM said it can augment the vaccine production.
The city corporation has been conducting intense vaccination campaigns for encouraging people to get vaccinated. However, they have not yet reached their target of vaccinating 60,000 people a day as vaccine hesitancy hampers their efforts. As on April 23rd, 12.42 lakh residents in Chennai have been vaccinated.
Source: The Times of India
Platform ticket price hiked
In view of the night curfew that is in place in Chennai, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has announced that their trains will be operated till 9 pm instead of the usual 11 pm. The last trip will commence from all stations between 8.55 pm and 9.05 pm and will reach the terminal by 9.55 pm.
The Southern Railway has announced that platform tickets at Egmore and MGR Central Railway Stations will be issued only to people who accompany senior citizens and persons with disabilities. To discourage people from making unnecessary trips to the stations, the ticket price has also been increased to Rs 50.
Source: The Times of India
ECR widening work to begin soon
The project to widen the 10.5-km urban stretch of ECR from Thiruvanmiyur to Akkarai is expected to commence this financial year. It is to be noted that the project was announced in 2005 and a token fund of Rs 10 crore was provided. Marred by delays in land acquisition and lawsuits, the widening work could not be taken up on the four-lane road. The delay has led to traffic congestion on the road.
The corporation is also constructing a 1.5-km storm water drain network in Palavakkam to prevent inundation on these roads as drains from west ECR empty onto the road.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]