The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu chaired a meeting with the District Collectors on Thursday to review COVID-19 preparedness and mitigation.

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Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 17:55

The government of Tamil Nadu has ordered private banks, special financial institutions and self help groups to stop demanding loan repayments from borrowers until further orders in the state. Those who violate the order will invite criminal action against them, the Chief Minister said.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami chaired a review meeting with District Collectors on Thursday through video conferencing. Various aspects of the lockdown in force in the state were discussed in the meeting. As a result, the state government has announced that the lockdown and prohibitory orders under section 144 will continue in Tamil Nadu till April 14, 2020 in line with the order of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Other announcements that were made by the Chief Minister after the meeting are:

> Nine special teams consisting of senior IAS officers will be set up to monitor and ensure smooth availability of essential commodities in the state.

> The state government will initiate criminal action against private banks, financial institutions and self help groups that demand repayment of loan and interest until further orders.

> Amid coronavirus, arrangements will be made to ensure that routine medicines to beneficiaries like those affected with chronic illnesses like tuberculosis and HIV AIDS are available. Government hospitals shall provide medicines for two months to these patients and to pregnant women.

> All those involved in transporting essential commodities (apart from those in the government sector) will be provided identity cards by the district administration. District Collectors’ personal assistants shall coordinate with the police department to ensure the same is done smoothly.

> Apps like Big Basket, Grofers, Dunzo etc are allowed to operate in the state to supply groceries, vegetables and the likes. The ban on food delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato continues. However, private caterers and tiffin services that supply food to the elderly and those in need of care due to disability can continue to do so, after obtaining necessary ID cards from the district administration.

> The government has also reiterated that there will not be any timing restriction on eateries and provision shops in the state.