Intense lockdown declared in five cities of Tamil Nadu to combat COVID-19 spread
Chennai/IBNS: Tamil Nadu has declared an intense lockdown in five cities from Sunday to break the chain of the highly contagious Coronavirus spread.
So far, 1,600 people in the state have been affected including 20 deaths.
The four-day intense shutdown will be applicable in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore from Sunday 6 am, which will continue till 9 pm on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami declared that in Tirupur and Salem, restrictions will be intensified for three days, starting 6 am on Sunday till 9 pm on Tuesday.
During this intense lockdown period, people will not be allowed to step out of their homes even to buy vegetables and groceries, which was earlier permitted from 6 am to 1 pm.
Take-aways from restaurants would be also banned during this period ensuring zero movements by the people.
"To vend vegetables and fruits, only mobile outlets shall be allowed," Palaniswami said.
The intense lockdown period would be utilised for disinfection tasks, to be carried out twice in containment zones and only government-run Amma canteens that provide food at subsidised rates.
However, relief has been granted to ATMs, hospitals, labs, pharmacies and allied services like ambulances.
Community kitchens, non-profits, caregivers for the elderly and differently-abled will be allowed to function as well.
Banks and central government offices will have to operate with only 33 percent of employees.
An FIR would be filed against hose violating the shutdown and their vehicles would be impounded, the chief minister said.
The move comes as these five cities in Tamil Nadu remains the worst-hit. While Chennai alone has 452 cases, Coimbatore has 141, 56 in Madurai, 30 in Salem and Tirupur has 110.
Meanwhile, India on Friday reported the biggest single-day spike in the Coronavirus cases so far with as many as 1752 new infections reported on Friday itself, taking the total tally to 23,452.
The number of deaths rose to 723 with 37 more people succumbing to Coronavirus in the last 24 hours, as per data released by the Union Home Ministry.
As 1.3 billion people of the country are observing phase 2 of lockdown, the growth rate of Coronavirus is steady so far. However, the humanitarian crisis has been on the rise with daily-wage workers complaining of starvation.