The Tamil Nadu government on Monday announced that yet another lockdown will be imposed on Chennai and parts of three neighbouring districts, to curb the spread of COVID-19. As of Tuesday morning, Chennai had recorded 33,244 COVID-19 cases while Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur had recorded 3,005, 751 and 1,922 cases respectively.
The number of cases in the state have only been increasing over the last three weeks along with the death count. And following a recommendation from the expert panel constituted under the Chief Minister, the state government has decided that a lockdown will be imposed from June 19 to June 30.
This decision has, however, evoked mixed response from the residents of Chennai and its surrounding districts. While some believe that it is the right method to tackle the virus, others question the implementation of the lockdown and whether this is the only solution to the existing crisis.
Respected @CMOTamilNadu @Vijayabaskarofl appreciate the bold step of lockdown in Chennai with time for people to stock up. 1 suggestion police vigilance be increased 2 make people follow social distancing at grocery & vegetable shop 2 avoid Koyembedu like cluster @RAKRI1— Abraham Milton (@abrahammilton02) June 16, 2020
Several residents pointed out that the last time a strict lockdown was announced, people rushed to shop for essentials in the city’s markets, specifically Koyambedu, eventually leading to a new cluster of cases. This time, however, the government has allowed grocery shops to function within restricted timings.
#Chennai All grocery shops and essential shops will open in mornings. Is this called intense shutdown? 4 days r there 2 buy essentials and store in the house (at least buy Tamarind, lemon rice powder and pickle) and then there should b a complete 24hour lockdown for two weeks.— Srikanth (@coolcheekas) June 15, 2020
Other residents meanwhile cast doubts on whether a lockdown would really work when offices will keep functioning and people will be commuting on a daily basis. They further asked why the government had denied that a lockdown would be imposed and come down heavily on people who suspected it, when in fact that is what the government finally did.
#WakeUpEPS— Dusky Tamizhachi (@TamizhRatsaschi) June 15, 2020
Two days ago Edapadi had said 'Dont believe in rumours that lockdown would be enforced again; legal action would commence against such 'whatsapp rumour spreaders'.
And today,Edapadi announces a 11 day lockdown in Greater Chennai.
Rumours abt this Govt arent false!
Chennai Lockdown Jun 19th to 30th— Dr Manjunath Shankar (@MonJunNot) June 16, 2020
How not to waste a Lockdown:
1.Circuit breaker to reduce daily new cases from 1300 to <400 by Jun 30th
2.Increase testing capacity from 10,000/day to 20,000/day@AnantBhan @Mundra08 @kprabhdeep @ShekharGupta
Journalists and experts, however, questioned whether a lockdown is really the only way to fight the pandemic.
There is no necessity of completed lockdown for 19 days in 4 district including Chennai. Last time 4 days lockdown in April increased the count there is no complete lockdown in mumbai delhi where. The count ishigher than at Chennai. Lot of relaxation in 28 districts count no— m.balasubramanian (@mbalas8552_m) June 16, 2020
Are you transferring UR inability on people by 1 more lockdown?— CK Kumaravel (@ckknaturals) June 15, 2020
Are you using people as a Guinea pigs?
Do you really know the problems of people at different levels viz private employee’s, entrepreneurs, women, BPL people?
Will this lockdown control corona?#GarlandInMonkeyHands pic.twitter.com/CPiR6xwvgH
During the stage of community transmission, #Lockdown is a tool to postpone a peak, not a control tool. But how does @EPSTamilNadu care? He just went by the advice of a bunch of guys, allegedly public health experts, who have never uttered a single word against the government!— RadhakrishnanRK (@RKRadhakrishn) June 15, 2020
According to a government order, during the period of the lockdown, hospitals and pharmacies will remain open while ambulances will be allowed to ply on the road. Autos, taxis and cabs meanwhile can only be used for emergency services. While food deliveries are allowed, grocery shops, vegetable shops, petrol bunks, and mobile markets will remain open from 6 am to 2 pm.