Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Wednesday rued that about 35 per cent of the people in the state don't wear masks, one of the preventive measures against coronavirus, and urged authorities to ensure strict implementation of the safety protocols.
The pandemic, however, was under control in the state due to a multi-pronged approach of the government, he said, reviewing the COVID-19 situation at a meeting with bureaucrats and district collectors.
"In Tamil Nadu, over 35 per cent of the people don't wear a mask. Therefore the (respective) district administration should take steps to ensure compliance by all," he said.
Lack of awareness have prompted people to throw caution to wind, he said.
Ahead of the Deepavali season, many people in the state did not comply with the mask rule, he said, urging authorities, especially the police, to step in and create awareness.
Spraying disinfectants at regular intervals in the affected areas is among the key factors that helped prevent the spread of the contagion, he added.
Detailing his government's efforts in handling the pandemic, he said so far Rs 7,372.25 crore has been spent on prevention, treatment and relief activities.
Holding fever camps in all districts, conducting door-to-door checks for symptomatic people, conducting RT-PCR tests and isolating the infected people and treating them have resulted in a dip in fresh and active cases, he added.
As many as 6,75,518 people have been cured and the recovery rate was 94.57 per cent while the fatality rate was 1.53 per cent.
"Due to the exemplary work of our doctors, positivity rate has been brought to 7.39 per cent," Mr Palaniswami added.
The daily infections have been less than 5,000 for the past 17 days and have dipped below 3,000 in the past four days.
Active cases are less than 30,000 in the state, he added.
Tamil Nadu's total coronavirus cases, as of Tuesday, stood at 7,14,235 with 10,983 deaths while the active cases are at 27,734.
Even during this pandemic, the government signed 55 new investment proposals for Tamil Nadu worth Rs 40,718 crore which will create over 74,000 jobs, Mr Palaniswami said.
Without naming anyone, he hit out at the opposition for its criticism of the government's handling of the pandemic and said due to its various efforts, there is a "situation of return to normalcy".
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)