Covid in TamilNadu: Tamil Nadu govt calls for complete lockdown in Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore till April 29

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Friday announced a complete lockdown in Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore from 6am on April 26 till 9pm on April 29 in a bid to intensify the efforts to curb the novel Coronavirus that has been spreading rapidly in the State. In Salem and Tirupur corporations, the total lockdown will go on from 6am on April 26 to 9pm on April 28.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said all shops, except pharmacies will be shut and that medical services like hospitals, laboratories in hospitals, pharmacies, ambulances and funeral vehicle services will be permitted. Government departments like the Secretariat, Health Department, police, revenue, electricity and local bodies will function while Amma canteens, ATMs, and other wholesale markets will remain open. Mobile vegetable markets will be allowed and so will food delivery services and community kitchens. Central government offices will be allowed to run with 33% workforce, the CM said.

On Friday, Tamil Nadu reported two more deaths and 72 fresh cases of Covid-19, a government media bulletin confirmed. As many as 52 cases were from Chennai.

This brings the total tally of cases in the State to 1,755 with 22 deaths. The number of active cases in the State went down to 864 on Friday as opposed to 908 on Thursday. A total of 114 patients were discharged on Friday leading to the number of total recoveries in the State being 866.

On Thursday, the Chief Secretary issued a Government Order that said there would be relaxations for certain activities and services in rural areas and non-containment zones across the State. The permissible activities included construction in rural areas and MGNREGA work. Even State/Central Government offices for the maintenance of essential services could function with attendance not exceeding 33% of the total staff, the GO stated.

However, it was explicitly mentioned that before allowing these select additional activities, the district administration would have to ensure that all standard operating procedures (SOPs) for physical distancing were followed in the offices, workplaces, factories and establishments and that other sectoral requirements were also in place.

Chennai continues to be the worst affected district with 452 cases, followed by 141 cases in Coimbatore. The media bulletin split the cause of infection as ‘primary’ and ‘contact’ cases. For all primary cases, the bulletin said a detailed investigation was under progress to identify the source of infection.

In all, 25,503 people are under home quarantine, 19 in government quarantine facilities, and 1,846 people under isolation at hospitals across the state. So far 72,403 samples have been tested in the State.

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