In a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has ordered for a complete lockdown in five cities. Based on the recommendations of the expert committee formed by the government and state disaster management authority, CM Palaniswami decided to further intensify the lockdown in the state.
In a statement on Friday, CM Palaniswami said Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore municipal corporations will be under lockdown from 6 am on April 26 to 9 pm on April 29; Salem and Tiruppur municipal corporations will follow lockdown from 6 am on April 26 to 9 pm on April 28. Existing restrictions would continue to be in place.
The chief minister said though the spread of coronavirus is under control in rural areas, there are possible chances of the pandemic spreading in urban pockets, particularly in the areas where people gather in large numbers. He requested the full cooperation from the general public in this regard.
As of April 24, the number of coronavirus positive cases in Tamil Nadu stands at 1,755, and the death toll is 22. On Friday, the state reported 72 new coronavirus positive cases, out of which 52 were from Chennai, seven from Coimbatore, and four from Madurai. The state reported two deaths on Friday taking the toll to 22. There are 864 active cases and so far 866 patients have been discharged.
What are the essential services that will be permitted during the lockdown?
1. Hospitals, medical labs, pharmaceutical shops, milk supply, ambulance and hearse vehicle supplies, and allied medical-related activities will be permitted during the lockdown.
2. Departments involved in essential service viz Secretariat, Health and Family Welfare, Police, Revenue and Disaster Management, Electricity, Aavin, Drinking Water Supply Departments (with required staffs), and other local bodies.
3. Central government offices and banks for the maintenance of essential services with attendance not exceeding 33 per cent of the total staff
4. Petrol bunks (from 8 am to 12 pm), LPG, Gas Agencies, Public Distribution System shops, Food Corporation of India and Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation Godowns and its transportation
5. Amma Canteens, ATM centers will function as usual
6. Home delivery of parcel foods ordered through phones from hotels/restaurants would be permitted
7. Care-takers for senior citizens/physically challenged/orphans would be permitted.
8. Community kitchens run by the district administration, Social welfare, and other local bodies would be allowed to operate
9. NGOs and other organisations helping the poor and needy would be permitted after obtaining prior permission from the concerned authorities
10. Koyembedu wholesale market will be permitted to operate with certain restrictions. Similarly, mobile units of sale of vegetables and fruits is allowed to operate.
11. Print and Electronic Media will function as usual
12. Apart from the permitted essential services, no others will be allowed. Other government offices (including Registration offices) will not function. IT sector staff have been advised to work from home and all other private establishments shall remain closed.
“The existing restrictions/permissions imposed in the remaining areas other than the above corporation limits will continue,” the order read.
During the lockdown period, restrictions in the containment zone would be further intensified. Disinfectants would be sprayed twice a day, the movement of the general public is completely restricted. The government said severe action would be initiated against the persons who violate the lockdown conditions besides the seizures of the vehicles.
As per the latest status report, 2,81,975 people have violated the lockdown in the state. The police have arrested 2,99,108 persons and seized 2,52,943 vehicles. Rs 2,91,38,654 has been collected as a fine amount from the violators.
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