Despite protests from opposition parties and women’s welfare associations to revoke the Tamil Nadu government’s order, TASMAC liquor shops reopened in parts of the state on Thursday after six weeks.
As per the guidelines issued by the state government, the shops opened at 10 am. Circles were drawn, barricades were erected and tokens were issued to the customers. In Tiruppur, a red zone district, the district collector said umbrellas were mandatory for customers to buy liquor — a tactic to ensure social distancing. Apart from this, customers were asked to show their Aadhaar card and wear masks if they wanted to buy bottles.
The Madras High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the re-opening of liquor shops in the state. However, it issued some guidelines, including asking the government not to allow shops to sell liquor against cash. Even in shops which didn’t possess E-Payment facilities, they were encouraged to carry out transactions via e-payment applications like BHIM, G-Pay etc.
The HC also stated that customers who made online payments would be permitted to buy two bottles of one type of liquor a day, while those who did not make digital payments would be permitted to purchase only one 750 ml bottle a day. The rules do not allow one customer to purchase liquor more than twice a week, with a minimum gap of three days.
Despite the presence of police personnel, customers in many areas failed to adhere to the social distancing norms. The long queues from dawn led to some untoward incidents in places, due to which the police carried out lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
In Erode, the police filed a case against four people, including three women, for carrying out placards against the government’s decision to reopen TASMAC shops. Three people were arrested in Tirupur for cutting a cake to celebrate the reopening of liquor stores.
TN government increase retirement age of government employees
The state government Thursday passed an order increasing the retirement age of its employees to 59 years from 58 years. “The government decided to increase the age of superannuation of government servants from 58 years to 59 years. This will apply to those who are in regular service as on date and due to retire on superannuation from 31.05.2020. This order shall also be applicable to all teaching and non-teaching staff working in aided educational institutions and employees of all Constitutional/Statutory bodies, Public sector undertakings all state corporations, Local Bodies, Boards, Commissions, Societies, etc,” the order read.
This measure came a week after the government announced the suspension of earned leave for teachers and its other staff. “In view of the fiscal stress arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the periodical surrender of earned leave for 15 days every year/30 days every two year, as provided under rule 7A of the Tamil Nadu Leave Rules, 1933 is suspended initially for a period of one year to all the government employees and teachers,” the order dated April 27 read.
Chennai Corporation releases links to help stranded out-of-towners
The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has released weblinks to help out-of-towners stranded in Tamil Nadu get back to their hometowns and help Tamils stranded in other states to return to the state.
The links enable those stranded to apply for passes to travel through government transportation. The GCC has also provided a link to get passes for inter-state and inter-district travel in private vehicles.
— Greater Chennai Corporation (@chennaicorp) May 6, 2020
Southern Railway extends parcel train services
The Southern Railway has extend parcel train services between Chennai Egmore station and Mumbai CSMT during the lockdown. The trains will now be available from May 3 to May 15.
— @GMSouthernrailway (@GMSRailway) May 7, 2020
580 Covid-19 cases reported in Tamil Nadu on Thursday
Tamil Nadu reported 580 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday with Chennai, Thiruvallur, and Villupuram accounting for 73 per cent of the cases. According to a a bulletin by the Tamil Nadu Health and Family Department, most of these cases are linked to the Koyembedu Market cluster. So far, 2644 cases have been reported in Chennai.
Thirty three cases were reported in Perambalur, 32 in Cuddalore, 24 in Ariyalur, 17 in Tiruvannamalai, 13 in Chengalpattu, seven in Ranipet, five in Trichy, four in Krishnagiri, three cases each in Theni and Tirunelveli, two cases each in Kancheepuram, Karur, Pudukotai, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, and Tirupathur on Thursday. Thothukudi, Vellore and Kallakurichi reported one case each.
The state reported two deaths today, taking the death toll to 37 in Tamil Nadu. A 56-year-old woman from Thiruvallur diagnosed with comorbidities was admitted to Kilpauk Government College and Hospital on May 1. She died on May 6 at 4.30 pm. Similarly, a 48-year-old woman from Chennai diagnosed with comorbidities was admitted to Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital on May 3. She died on May 7 at 03.30 pm.
On Thursday, 14,195 samples were tested. 31 people got discharged following treatment. So far, 273 children under the age of 12 have tested positive for COVID_19 in TN. Most of the cases (4,743) are reported in the age group between 13-60. 393 cases have been reported in the age group above 60.
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