With a huge surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, the Tamil Nadu government Saturday announced stringent curbs, including closure of cinema theatres and shopping malls. The government has also declared a complete lockdown on Sunday.
What is closed?
According to the latest guidelines, recreation clubs, bars, auditoriums and meeting halls will not be allowed to function from Monday in the state. Shopping complexes, malls, beauty parlours, spas, saloons, barber shops will also be shut.
The guidelines also order closure of all worship centres and denial of public entry to attend temple consecrations,
What can open with limits?
Restaurants and other eateries will operate only for takeaway services. The government has ordered a limited number of 50 people at weddings and 25 for funerals were among the other guidelines issued. It has also directed IT and related companies to work with just 50% of staff strength by allowing others to work from home.
While the rules insist on the closure of golf, tennis clubs and sports training academies, it has exempted training for national and international players.
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 are allowed in the transport buses, a maximum of three passengers are allowed to travel in taxi cabs and two in autos from Monday.
As of Saturday, there were 1941 beds vacant in Chennai’s five Covid hospitals and 11 Covid health centres (of their total strength of 6118 beds). Of 11,645 beds available at Covid care centres, 9253 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 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. To quickly resolve issues related to medical oxygen availability, the government also introduced a 24*7 call centre 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. The government has sent directions to district health authorities to ensure a systematic procedure of referring patients to hospitals and Covid care facilities depending on the condition of patients.