In much relief to the general public, Tamil Nadu Government withdrew its earlier order that required compulsory Covid-19 vaccination to visit public places on Sunday. The government had issued the mandatory Covid-19 jabs order in 2021.
In a new order on Sunday, Tamil Nadu’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine said that the compulsory vaccination notification had been withdrawn with immediate effect.
“The notification issued under Tamil Nadu Public Health Act,1939 vide reference 9th cited with immediate effect”, it said.
At the same time, it also said that other Covid-19 protocols would continue to be in place.
The Health Department directed the state authorities to keep encouraging people to follow Covid-19 precautions and appropriate Covid-19 behavior such as maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, avoiding the crowd, and creating awareness of the important role of vaccination, as reported by the Business Standard.
The mandatory covid-19 jab order to visit public places has been withdrawn, keeping in mind the declining trend in reporting new Covid cases across the state.
So far, Tamil Nadu has achieved a vaccination coverage of more than 92 percent and 75 percent of the first and second dose, respectively, for those above 18 years.
“Persons who are eligible to get vaccinated and the respective first, second, and booster dose, as the case may be, are encouraged to come forward to take the doses willingly,” the notification said.
As of Saturday, Tamil Nadu’s overall first dose coverage for those above 18 years was 92.31 percent, while the second dose was 76.85 percent. The total coverage of the population stands at 10.51 crore, a bulletin said.
Tamil Nadu’s latest directive easing Covid-19 related restrictions is in line with other states’ stand of withdrawing Covid-19 protocols from April 1 onwards.
However, on April 1, Tamil authorities were still apprehensive about withdrawing Covid-19 norms. On Friday, a state official from Tamil Nadu had said that it was too early to take a call on doing away with appropriate Covid-19 behavior as he cited an average of 35 cases in the state.
States that have withdrawn Covid-19 Restrictions
Starting April 1 onwards, many Indian states, including Delhi, Maharashtra, and Bengal, have withdrawn Covid-19 related restrictions on visiting public places and offices.
Delhi did away with the mandatory mask-wearing rule on April 1. In a meeting chaired by Lt. Governor Anil Baijal on Friday, DDMA withdrew orders on Covid-19 restrictions, including the 500 rupees fine for not wearing masks in public places.
However, while the rule prescribed a penalty of 500 rupees for note wearing masks in public places, it was leniently imposed, with very few persons being charged with the fine.
Similarly, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, and others also withdrew Covid-19 norms from April 1 onwards, while others from the next day. Also, while Bengal started most Covid-19 restrictions in public places, it has not withdrawn the compulsory mask mandate.
However, medical experts are still cautioning people, especially those with health issues, about not following appropriate Covid-19 behaviors. As a matter of caution and to be safe, one must continue to observe Covid-19 safety norms.