April 25, 2021 4:55:12 am
As the coronavirus infections and deaths continue to rise, the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced stringent curbs, including the closure of cinema theatres and malls. The government also declared a complete lockdown on Sunday.
According to the latest guidelines, recreation clubs, bars, auditoriums, meeting halls will not be allowed to function from Monday in the state. Shopping complex, malls, beauty parlours, spas, salons will remain shut and the opening of restaurants and other eateries will be allowed for takeaway services.
On Saturday, Tamil Nadu reported 14,842 fresh cases and the total number of active cases in the state crossed over 1 lakh. There were 80 deaths across the state, including 25 deaths in Chennai city. Of the total number of cases reported on Saturday, 4,086 cases were in Chennai, which has 31,112 active cases.
Restricted operational hours for e-commerce activities, closure of all places of worship, a limited number of 50 people at weddings and 25 for funerals were among the other guidelines issued.
The norms also insist IT and related companies work with just 50% of staff strength in offices and allowing others to work from home.
While the rules insist on the closure of golf, tennis clubs and sports training academies, training for national and international players are allowed.
People who travel to Tamil Nadu from other states and countries, except Puducherry, should be registered with the state portal to avail e-passes for entry. While a limited number of passengers can travel in buses, a maximum of three passengers can travel in taxi cabs and two in autos from Monday.
As of Saturday, there were 1,941 beds vacant in Chennai’s five Covid hospitals and 11 Covid health centres (of their total strength of 6,118 beds). Of 11,645 beds available at Covid care centres, 9,253 beds were vacant on Saturday.
Besides the measures being taken to control the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, the government on Saturday enabled a green corridor along with police patrol teams to ensure the smooth transportation of tankers carrying medical oxygen.
“The demand for medical oxygen from Covid-19 treatment facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes is expected to rise, and the number of Covid-19 cases will increase. Oxygen manufacturing industries in the state have been instructed to explore methods to increase production,” said a statement from the government on Saturday.
The government has also introduced a 24*7 call centre to quickly resolve issues related to medical oxygen availability under the state drug controller, where hospitals can directly contact dialling 104 for immediate availability of oxygen.
The government has also introduced 2,000 mini clinics across the state to decentralise the process of tracing Covid patients.
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