The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 continues in Tamil Nadu in spite of tall claims from the state government. The positive cases crossed 20,000 on May 29, with the highest ever single-day spike of 874 cases reported on the same day. Chennai has continued to add cases on an average of more than 570 cases per day in the last seven days. The total infection in the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) alone has reached 13.362.
Meanwhile, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) held a statewide protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and on various demands for farmers. The Puzhal prison in the outskirts of Chennai has been locked down as 30 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and sangh parivar organisations continue to propagate the communal agenda even during the pandemic. NewsClick brings a round-up of events across the state this week.
COVID-19 Cases Cross 20,000, Chennai Most Affected
Notwithstanding the claims of the government about successfully containing the spread of the pandemic, the cases continue to soar. The cases crossed 20,000 on May 29, with an addition of 5,493 cases in one week. The GCC region itself has more than 13,000 cases so far. The death toll reached 154, with 56 deaths in the week. The number of deaths of patients within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital has also raised questions on the protocol being followed after admission.
The chief minister, even after admitting that containing the spread in Chennai is a challenge, has not assured increased testing. The containment measures in the city have not yielded the desired results as testing remains stagnant even though the number of testing facilities have increased. Read More
MENTAL WELL-BEING NOT TAKEN CARE OF
The state government has taken hardly any steps to address the mental health issues of the suspects, patients, and their family members. Two individuals have taken the extreme step of committing suicide in the hospitals after testing positive. The limited facilities in the hospitals and quarantine centres are also affecting the inmates psychologically. The refusal to test the high-risk and primary contacts of the positive patients has resulted in a death in Chennai. Read More
RAILWAY OFFICIALS, PRISON INMATES TEST POSITIVE
The Southern Railways headquarters and two Integral Coach Factory (ICF) offices were closed after a few employees tested positive for COVID-19. Two top officials of the railways tested positive, though they remained asymptomatic. Officials said the office would be reopened after disinfection. The ICF production unit was partially shut down after two employees tested positive.
Around 30 inmates of the largest prison complex in the country, Puzhal, have tested positive for COVID-19. All of them have been quarantined in a block in the complex and the source of contraction is yet to be known. Two prisoners of Cuddalore prison and one from Trichy prison have also tested positive this week. The prisoner of the Trichy central jail had returned from Chennai earlier in the week. The results of fellow inmates of the positive patients are awaited.
AIKS OPPOSES ELECTRICITY AMENDMENT BILL
The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) held a statewide protest against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The AIKS has alleged that the amendment is being made to stop the free electricity provided to the farmers. The state government has also written to the prime minister on the issue of continuing the facility extended to the farmers of the state. The AIKS also demanded unconditional loans for the poor and marginal farmers along with a cash relief of Rs 10,000 as per the Madras High Court order. It asked for immediate relief for plantain farmers, whose crops were damaged in heavy rain and winds across many parts of the state.
The leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, M K Stalin, has also written to the prime minister regarding the Bill, calling it a move against federalism. He also insisted on the withdrawal of the Bill.
RIGHT WING’S COMMUNAL AGENDA
The BJP and the sangh parivar’s inclination towards communal agenda is not a new phenomenon. But, the Right-wing has continued to focus on creating communal tensions even during a pandemic. An incident of pork meat being thrown inside a couple of temple premises was reported in Coimbatore. The leaders of Right-wing forces were quick to make an issue of the incident and arrived in large numbers to the location. They demanded that the police act immediately and arrest the culprits.
The city police acted swiftly and arrested the only culprit in the incident. The arrested youth, Hari is an activist of a Right-wing group, but the tension continues to be fomented. Read More
RETRENCHMENT IN IT COMPANIES
The employees of the IT and ITES companies are being inhumanly retrenched in the name of financial issues. The lockdown owing to the COVID-19 spread is being used to illegally retrench the employees even as the companies are doing well financially. A case study on eNoah iSolutions by the Union of IT and ITES Employees has proved that the companies are illegally retrenching the employees. The companies are also accused of violating the law of the land. The other companies indulging in forced resignations are not paying compensation to the employees as per the rules laid down. Read More