In view of the steep rise in new Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, passengers who have received the two doses of vaccination would be allowed to travel on its suburban services with effect from January 10, the Southern Railway said on Saturday. In the latest set of guidelines issued by it, passengers with two doses of vaccination would be allowed for taking up journeys in the Chennai region.
The Southern Railway also warned of collecting Rs 500 as fine from a passenger who is found not wearing a face mask in the premises. Taking into account the current surge in Covid-19 cases and a threat of the Omicron variant, the Tamil Nadu government has imposed several restrictions from January 6 onwards following which suburban train services are operating with 50 per cent seating capacity.
The total number of beneficiaries who received vaccinations against Covid-19 breached nine crore on Saturday, with 17.34 lakh more people receiving the shots at the 18th Mega Vaccination Camp, Tamil Nadu Minister Ma Subramanian said. The Minister for Medical and Family Welfare, who inspected the vaccination exercise in the city, said over 90 per cent of people in Chennai have received the first dose.
“Today, the 18th Mega Vaccination Camp was held in which 17,34,083 beneficiaries received the jabs. Of this 5,71,795 people received first dose, while 11,62,288 the second dose”, he told reporters.
Partly quashing an FIR filed against a Catholic priest who was arrested last July over a purportedly derogatory speech, the Madras High Court on Friday ruled that his remarks against “Bharat Mata”, “Bhuma Devi” attract the offence of hurting religious sentiments under Section 295A of IPC, among others. The court quashed four out of seven charges against P George Ponnaiah.
Hearing Ponnaiah’s petition to quash the FIR, the court listed several allegedly derogatory remarks from his speech, delivered on July 18, 2021, at a meeting organised at a church to pay homage to late activist Stan Swamy in Kanyakumari.