The state continues to see a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, with the cases in Chennai city alone crossing 1,000. The biggest market in Chennai, Koyambedu vegetable market has become a cause of concern while more policemen continue to test positive for the virus. Eight employees of Kaveripakkam branch of the State Bank of India have been quarantined after an officer from Chennai, on deputation in the branch, tested positive. The only solace for the state is downgrading of 14 districts from Red to Orange zone after reduction in cases. Four districts, Nilgiris, Karur, Erode and Thoothukudi are COVID-19 free as of May 1.
CHENNAI: HOTBED OF COVID-19 CASES
The state capital with a high density population has become a hotbed of the novel coronavirus infection. The city alone has 1,082 cases out of the total 2,536 cases in the state as on May 1. Saturday saw a massive addition of 176 cases, the highest single-day increase in positive cases. More complications have arisen as 98% of the patients from the city are asymptotic. A corporation official, deployed in the COVID-19 works, also tested positive, while he remained asymptotic. Two more policemen involved in the containment works also tested positive on Thursday. The increasing number of cases in Chennai has raised the suspicion of community spread.
The containment in Chennai is more complex with the high density of the population. The number of contacts of the positive patients are also high, which again increases the complexity of the containment.
However, the increasing number of discharges and 14 districts being moved from red to orange zone have brought some relief to the state. Read More
AMBEDKAR STATUE DESECRATED IN CUDDALORE
A statue of Dr B R Ambedkar was descreated in Cuddalore district on Thursday. The incident came to light on Friday morning after the public noticed a footwear being placed along with a poster with derogatory comments on the bronze statue. The recurrence of such incidents in the state is attributed to the highhandedness of communal fanatics disrespecting the contributions of Dr Ambedkar.
The opposition parties condemned the incident and the police, after examining CCTV footage in the locality, have arrested a 42-year-old, M Babu, for the crime. He has been booked under Aections 153 (for wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code. In August 2019, a statue of Dr Ambedkar was vandalised and replaced in Nagapattinam district. Read More
MAY DAY CELEBRATIONS MUTED
The trade unions and political parties, particularly the Left parties, muted their May Day celebrations owing to the lockdown. The members of trade unions hoisted red flags at their homes and trade union offices with minimum participation. The trade unions demanded that the state and union governments ensure that the rights of the working class are not diluted with the economic slowdown expected to worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recent news of the corporate companies proposing 12 hours of working per day had shocked the workers. Such a demand combined with the proposed codification of the labour laws would further deny hard-won rights of the workers.
FORCED RESIGNATIONS, CONTRACT TERMINATIONS IN IT INDUSTRY
The workers of the IT industry in Tamil Nadu have opposed the alleged forced resignations and contract termination in companies. Certain companies have resorted to pay cuts and modifications in leave policies. Motive of these organisations is to multiply their profits by compromising on the rights of the employees. The reduction in expenses is aimed at maintaining the profit margins to please the investors.
An employee of Valeo India limited reportedly committed suicide while he was working from home in Thoothukudi district on April 30. However, the reason behind the alleged suicide was unclear. Around 20 employees working for Valeo through Mectus Systems India Private Limited were informed of termination of service from May 9 through emails on April 22. Read More
ARTISTS BEREFT OF RELIEF
The traditional, folk and performing artists in the state are bereft of relief from the government during the lockdown period. The lockdown has come at a time when these artists would be busy with programmes in temple festivals. The festivals in most of the temples are held during the months of March, April and May.
Only a meagre 35,000 artists are eligible to receive the Rs 1,000 cash along with ration as relief while the total number of artists is pegged at more than three lakh. The registered artists in the absence of the welfare boards are not eligible for the relief.
The Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association and Alternate Media Centre demanded that the government employ these performers for awareness campaigns in the government projects in the future. Read More