The Tamil Nadu government has announced an intense lockdown in five cities — Chennai, Tiruppur, Salem, Coimbatore, and Madurai — to contain the transmission of COVID-19 in the state.
The lockdown will be enforced for four days in Chennai, Madurai, and Coimbatore, from 6 am on Sunday (April 26) until 9 pm on Wednesday (April 29).
Similarly, Salem and Tiruppur will implement a lockdown for three days, from 6 am on April 26 to 9 pm on April 28.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said on Friday (April 24) that the decision was necessary since the spread of COVID-19 was still severe in urban areas of the state.
Only essential services would be allowed to operate during the intensified lockdown.
Services allowed between April 26 and 29
- Hospitals, pharmacies can be opened during the three/four days.
- Government-run shops providing essential services will be open.
- State-run Amma canteens will function.
- ATMs and restaurants offering home delivery will function.
- Community kitchens and non-profit organisations can also operate during this period.
- Mobile fruit and vegetable shops (carts) are allowed. However, no other private shops can function.
- Grocery shops which are usually allowed to run till afternoon cannot function during the three/four days.
The government has assured that the sale of groceries, fruits and vegetables on carts has been arranged by city corporations for those four days.
The restrictions in containment zones will be magnified during this period. These zones would be disinfected twice a day. Those violating lockdown norms would have their vehicles confiscated, and strict action would be taken against them.
Tamil Nadu has recorded 1,683 cases of COVID-19 so far, with the death toll at 20.