The lockdown will begin on April 26 and there will be a blanket ban on all other work except extremely essential services.

Complete lockdown in five TN cities including Chennai and Coimbatore for 4 days
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, April 24, 2020 - 14:38

In order to contain the spread of COVID-19, the government of Tamil Nadu has announced stricter lockdown measures in five municipal corporations – Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem and Tiruppur – starting April 26. 

The municipal corporations of Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore will enforce a total shutdown for four days starting 6 am on April 26 (Sunday) to 9 pm on April 29 (Wednesday). Similarly, the municipal corporations of Salem and Tiruppur will enforce a total shutdown for three days starting 6 am on April 26 (Sunday) to 9 pm on April 28 (Tuesday). 

A statewide lockdown is already in place till May 3 in Tamil Nadu following the announcement by Prime Minister Modi. This announcement of tighter restrictions in the five corporations means that apart from extremely essential services, there will be a blanket ban on all other work. 

Similarly, small shops which sell vegetables and fruits will not be allowed to function in these areas between April 26 and April 28/29. Groceries, vegetables and fruits will be available in the mobile shops that have already been arranged by the city corporations in the state. All other shops and supermarkets which were given permission to function earlier will not be allowed to function. Wholesale vegetable and fruits market, like Koyambedu, however, can operate.

Apart from the aforementioned, there is a total ban on all other works. Those working in the IT sector have been told to work from home. No other private firms will function. 
 
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.

Restaurants functioning in these areas are allowed to deliver food at the homes of the customers and accept orders through phone calls. The government of Tamil Nadu had earlier permitted the public to go to restaurants and buy food parcels during the lockdown period. 

Employees of IT companies in these areas must also work from home. Other government and private offices (including the Registrar’s office) will not be allowed to function during this period.

A government source told TNM that many people, especially in the cities, were not following the lockdown rules and were going out in vehicles in the pretext of shopping for groceries and other essentials. With new stringent rules, the government hopes that in the last few days of this lockdown, they can ensure people stay indoors. 

Here is a list of activities that are allowed in these five areas during the stricter lockdown period: 

1. Medical services like hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, ambulances and hearse services will be allowed to function. 

2. Essential service departments of the state government like the Secretariat, health and family welfare, police, revenue and disaster management, electricity, Aavin milk, local administrative bodies and water distribution. 

3. Thirty three percent of employees in central government offices and banks can carry out the essential work. 

4. Amma canteens and ATMs can function.

5. Restaurants which accept orders through phone and deliver food at home are allowed to function. 

6. Permission will be granted to those helping the elders, the destitute and persons with disabilities. 

7. Community kitchens set up by the government departments and local bodies will be permitted to function. 

8. Volunteer organisations helping the poor and needy shall be allowed to function with necessary permissions. 

9. Wholesale vegetable markets like Koyambedu will function abiding by the norms. Movable shops (like pushcarts) selling groceries, vegetables and fruits will be allowed to operate. Other shops which were permitted to operate till date will not be allowed to function during the stricter ban period. 

According to a statement released by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the decision to tighten the lockdown norms in these 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. 

Till now Chennai has reported 400 COVID-19 cases, while Coimbatore has had 134 cases. Madurai has 52 cases, Salem 24 cases and Tiruppur, 110 cases. The state has recorded 1,683 cases till now of which 752 people have been discharged after they recovered.  

 

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