The stricter lockdown measures in select cities are in the wake of increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the state, especially in the urban areas.
Amid concerns that the small Covid-19 hotspots are emerging in its major cities, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday announced a four-day complete lockdown in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai, starting Sunday. It also imposed a similar near-curfew in Salem and Tirupur corporations, between April 26-28.
In a statement, the chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy said there will be a blanket ban on all other works except extremely essential services in these areas. Of course, in all other areas of the state, existing restrictions would continue to be in place.
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The stricter lockdown measures in select cities are in the wake of increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the state, especially in the urban areas. Chennai city itself has 400 Covid -19 cases, as of April 23, as the state had a total number of 1,683 cases.
The decision to tighten the lockdown norms in the five municipal corporations comes after recommendations by doctors and public health experts during a review meeting chaired by the chief minister on Friday. “Though the spread of the disease has come under control in rural areas, the chances of it spreading in cities is high. During the meeting it was clear that only if the restrictions are made more stringent, the spread of the disease can be brought under control in cities,” said the statement.
Small shops which sell vegetables and fruits will not be allowed to function in these areas. Groceries, vegetables and fruits will be available in the mobile shops that have already been arranged by the city corporations. All other shops and supermarkets which were given permission to function earlier will not be allowed to function, too. Those working in the IT sector have been told to work from home. No other private firms will function.
The statement said that stringent restrictions will be brought in containment zones during this period. These areas will be disinfected twice daily. Movement of people in other areas in these cities will be fully restricted. If anyone flouts the ban, in addition to their vehicles being confiscated, strict action will be taken, it said.
Restaurants functioning in these areas are allowed to deliver food at the homes of the customers and accept orders through phone calls. The Tamil Nadu government had earlier permitted the public to go to restaurants for buying food parcels during the lockdown period.