Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami announced on Saturday that the strict lockdown in Madurai city and surrounding areas will be extended till July 12. These areas are already under a strict lockdown, due to end on Sunday, July 5.
In a press release on Saturday, the Chief Minister said that though the spread of COVID-19 has reduced in Madurai and the surrounding regions, in order to further bring it under control, the lockdown is being extended by seven more days.
The lockdown will be in effect in areas falling under the Madurai Corporation, Paravai town, Madurai East, Madurai West and Tirupparankundram areas. All the restrictions that are already in place in these areas will continue till July 12.
Madurai district has been reporting a steady rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases over the past few days. On Friday, of the 4,329 new cases in the state, 287 patients were reported in Madurai district. The district, as of Friday, has 2,405 patients under treatment for COVID-19. 51 patients have died till Friday while undergoing treatment in the district.
A strict lockdown is already in force in Madurai, areas surrounding the district, Chennai and a few parts of neighbouring Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur till July 5. During the strict lockdown period, grocery and vegetable shops are allowed to function only till 2 pm and restaurants are allowed to operate only till 8 pm.
Initially, Madurai and its surrounding areas were supposed to have relaxed lockdown norms from July 6. However, due to a steady rise in the number of cases reported from the district, restrictions have been extended for one more week.
Tamil Nadu, on Friday, crossed the 1 lakh-mark in the total number of COVID-19 cases reported so far.