Lockdown kicks in, Tamil Nadu CM Stalin launches COVID-19 cash relief scheme

By: |
May 10, 2021 8:07 PM

Places of worship that have already been out of bounds for devotees saw priests conducting regular prayers/poojas without people’s participation.

Chief Minister M K StalinChief Minister M K Stalin

The two-week complete lockdown to help prevent the continuing spike in COVID-19 cases kicked in on Monday in Tamil Nadu while Chief Minister M K Stalin launched the Rs 4,000 assistance scheme by handing over the first instalment of Rs 2,000 to beneficiaries.

With tightening of restrictions, there was a big drop in movement of vehicles as most people stayed indoors and operation of public transport including buses and cabs were suspended.

Government offices, barring the Secretariat and other essential departments including health/medical, were closed.  Shopping complexes, malls, cinemas, state-run liquor stores, bars, salons, private establishments, information technology and IT enabled services firms were all closed.

Restaurants and eateries continued with takeaway services as before.

Places of worship that have already been out of bounds for devotees saw priests conducting regular prayers/poojas without people’s participation.

Police placed barricades preventing access to important flyovers and key intersections across the state.  Police personnel advised people who ventured out without any valid reasons to avoid repeating it.

Suburban ‘workmen special’ trains were operated by Southern Railways for travel by people connected to essential services and permitted activites. Metrorail services were however suspended.

Retail stores selling groceries, vegetable and fruit shops however functioned as usual from morning and closed at noon.

The complete lockdown starting 4 am on May 10 and till 4 am on May 24 was being enforced in view of the continuing spike in COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu.

On Monday, the state witnessed 28,978 fresh virus cases and everyday, the new infections see a new high.

As on May 10, the total active cases are 1,52,389 and 14,09,237 people have tested positive. Today, 232 people died of the infection and in total 15,880 in the state.

The Chief Minister, marking the launch of the COVID-19 relief scheme for rice category ration card holders, gave away the first instalment of Rs 2,000 cash assistance to seven card holders.

The cash assistance would be provided to beneficiaries at Public Distribution System outlets in their respective neighbourhood beginning May 15 from 8 am and till noon, an official release said.

As part of efforts to avoid crowding, tokens specifying details like date and time to receive relief would be door delivered to people.

In the run up to the April 6 Assembly polls, Stalin had promised Rs 4,000 cash assistance in view of the pandemic.

To fulfill the promise and to provide assistance to about 2.07 crore rice card holders, he issued an order on May 7, the day he assumed office as Chief Minister for the first time.

Under the scheme, Rs 2,000 wold be provided as first instalment this month and the estimated cost is Rs 4,153.39 crore.

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