Withdraw order allowing 100% theater occupancy: Centre to Tamil Nadu
The central government on Wednesday asked the Tamil Nadu government to reverse an order allowing full occupancy in cinema halls. The Centre reminded the state government that federal COVID-19 guidelines must not be diluted. The development comes mere two days after the state government had raised the seating cap from 50% to 100%, giving in to a representation made by a theater owners' association.
Centre urges Tamil Nadu to immediately reverse order
The Union Home Ministry was quoted as saying by ANI, "Government of Tamil Nadu order of permitting increase the seating capacity of cinema/theaters/multiplexes from existing 50% to 100% is a dilution of MHA order. States and UT shall not dilute guidelines issued under DM Act in any manner." The Ministry urged the state to immediately revise the order to ensure compliance with central guidelines.
Earlier, 50% seat occupancy was allowed
Cinema halls have been operating at 50% seating capacity since November 10 to ensure physical distancing. On Monday, Tamil Nadu's revenue and disaster management department had passed an order allowing seating at full capacity in cinemas, theaters, and multiplexes. The theater owners' association had requested the government to pass an order to this effect, considering the industry is still reeling from the lockdown.
Outbreak slows down in TN, but new strain detected
The outbreak in Tamil Nadu has slowed down considerably and infections have witnessed a steady decline since October 2020. As of Wednesday, the state reported a total of 8,23,181 COVID-19 cases, with 811 new cases in the past 24 hours. The total cases include 12,188 deaths and 8,03,328 recoveries. However, the state has also confirmed four cases of the new "more infectious" coronavirus strain.
How bad is the outbreak across India?
Across India, a total of 1,03,75,478 COVID-19 cases have been reported, out of which, 2,27,546 are active infections, while 99,97,272 patients have recovered, according to data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday morning. The death toll stands at 1,50,114.