Playgrounds across the city see heavy rush during weekends

Officials warn of high risk of COVID-19 transmission as most of them are children

While the Greater Chennai Corporation has intensified efforts to ensure COVID appropriate behaviour in public places, mask compliance and physical distancing norms are being widely flouted in many playgrounds across the city.

Corporation officials and the police had to vacate the ground in Officers Colony, Anna Nagar Western Extension, on Sunday as there were too many youngsters playing, many of them without masks.

A zonal-level Corporation official said residents complained that crowding occurred at the playground every weekend. “A majority of them are less than 18 and not vaccinated. Hence, there is a higher risk of COVID-19 spread,” he said.

He added that though playgrounds were permitted to remain open only for a few hours of the day, people ended up utilising the ground throughout the day during weekends.

Acknowledging that the ground did get crowded occasionally, a football coach training students at a ground in Mandaveli said that it was not possible for children to wear masks while they were playing. “We, however, ensure that children with even minor fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 do not come to the ground,” he said.

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