The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday extended the COVID-19 lockdown till March 31, asking authorities to ensure strict enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines to break the chain of the infection, and take action against violators.
Under the lockdown rules, offices, shops and commercial establishments will continue to function with staggered working hours.
The earlier lockdown was imposed till February 28.
The government has also instructed police and municipal authorities to see that COVID-19 protocols like using face masks in public and maintaining social distancing are followed in containment zones.
The directive stresses on the strict enforcement of COVID-19 protocols including using provisions of Section 144 as and when required.
The state government’s directive came just a day before the Centre’s second phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive, which aims to cover people above 60 and those above 45 with co-morbidities.
International air travel will continue to be prohibited except for those related to essential services.
The state government has also asked people above 65, pregnant women, children under 10 years of age and those with co-morbidities to take necessary precautions to avoid contracting the disease.
Tamil Nadu which has a tally of 8.51 lakh cases so far against 8.34 lakh recoveries and 12,000 deaths, found itself among five worst-hit states on Sunday after reporting 486 new cases and five deaths in 24 hours.
The rise in cases comes just ahead of the state assembly elections on April 6.