The Tamil Nadu government since March has distributed 7.19 crore reusable cotton face masks across the State at free of cost as a move to ensure everyone wears facemask. The data by the Health Department says 47.8 lakhs masks have been distributed in Chennai alone. Not only the free mask but also the state government taking various measures to spread awareness on mask wearing at various strata of society.
One such effort is officials directly visiting busy areas such as markets, slums, shopping areas, and congested streets in the cities. Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan, who has been visiting various localities in foot and distributing face masks across the State, said that challenges in enforcing mask wearing are area-specific. "We are taking this ground-level initiative to educate people. We verbally explain to stake holders about the importance of masks and lockdown by adopting to colloquial approaches," Dr Radhakrishnan told a news agency.
"We explain the realtime difficulties to the vendors and shop keepers and ask them to be partners with us. Some of the stakeholders become watchdogs too and when we visit, they point out the streets where mask compliance is low," said Radhakrishnan. Radhakrishnan said that the mask compliance was lesser at the residential complex areas and it was good among the traders. The Chennai Corproation organizes various dramas, skits, and dances in public places to spread awareness on masks, the CMRL too has roped in parai artists to spread awareness in its metro stations.