As the entire country grapples with COVID-19 situation, anti-Coronavirus robots were deployed in a containment zone in Chennai on Wednesday to sanitise the area. These robots were carried by a three-wheeler auto which was also, incidentally, based on Coronavirus theme.
The designer of the robots, Gowtham said, "It can store around 30 litres of disinfectant. This is a prototype, we are building better ones."
The city is grappling with the deadly pandemic like many in India as it was witnessed that 552 out of 688 new COVID-19 cases in the state on Wednesday are from Chennai alone. Of the 688 cases, 87 are those who returned from other states and abroad. Among the people found positive were returnees from Dubai, Maldives, Malaysia and Kuwait, while those returning from other states were from Maharashtra and Kerala.
The biggest contributor to the cases in the city of late, the Koyembedu market, has been shifted to a location in the outskirts of the city. One of Asia's largest vegetable, fruits and flower markets, Koyembedu had become an epicentre in the state when at least 300 COVID-19 cases were reported from the market alone, thus becoming a separate cluster on its own. It is also said that the people who visited the market travelled back to various places in the state, carrying the virus.
Hence, the Chennai metropolitan development authority, the government body that manages the Koyembedu market, shut the market and has temporarily given it a different location at Thirumazhisai which is in the outskirts of the city to continue the trade since the vegetable and fruit supply to the Chennai should not be curtailed. However, the vendors don't seem to be moving from the existing location to the new one.
Tamil Nadu Opposition leader and DMK president MK Stalin slammed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami for putting the blame of Koyambedu Covid-19 cluster on the vendors and labourers.
During a brief press conference on Wednesday, Chief Minister E Palaniswami said that the government officials including the Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had multiple rounds of talks with the vendors of Koyembedu fruits and vegetable market, but then they were not ready to move out since they will incur a heavy loss if they shift out and it's not the government which is responsible for the Covid-19 Koyembedu cluster and its the vendors who were responsible as they allegedly didn't wear masks or follow the social distancing norms.
12,448 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Tamil Nadu while 84 deaths have been reported in the state due to the disease so far. A total of 1,06,750 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday.