Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that despite relaxation in lockdown rules, the state and its people should follow COVID-19 norms for another year to prevent a spike in cases. In an exclusive interview to the Times of India, Minister Ma Subramanian added that countries such as the USA, UK and Russia were struggling now with a spike in cases, so there was no guarantee that Tamil Nadu would not see a spike.
The minister also added that the vaccination programme must be continued to prevent another spike in cases. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a possible third wave can be avoided if at least 70% of the population receives one dose of the vaccine, he said.
Tamil Nadu on Saturday, October 23, had announced that lockdown restrictions to curtail the spread of COVID-19 will continue till November 15. The government, however, had introduced a slew of relaxations. From November 1, schools will be allowed to open in the state with students attending in-person classes. The government has also allowed intra, inter-district and inter-state air conditioned buses to be filled up to 100% capacity from November 1. Cinema halls are allowed to fill up to 100% capacity from November 1. Bars and pubs too can be opened from November 1.
The 11 pm curfew for all shops and restaurants have been lifted. Further, all indoor and outdoor sports coaching will be allowed. Swimming pools will also be opened in the state. Shooting for film and television can also go on, provided all crew and cast are vaccinated and COVID-19 protocols are followed. However, a ban on religious and political rallies as well as temple festival gatherings will continue in the state, according to the orders.