Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the Tamil Nadu government has imposed a 12-day complete lockdown in Chennai and neighbouring districts, set to begin from tomorrow (June 19).
On June 15, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that the 12-day complete lockdown will be imposed in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram, and Tiruvallur, the districts which have reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
According to a statement by the Tamil Nadu government, the complete lockdown will be in force till June 30, with the following relaxations and certain restrictions in place:
- Hospitals, labs, pharmacies, and funeral hearses can function round the clock
- State and Central government offices can operate with 33 percent workforce
- Employees living in containment zones need not come to office, but should obtain prior permission.
- Banks will operate only on June 29 and June 30 with 33 per cent workforce
- Ration shops will operate between 8 am-2 pm in all areas, except in containment zones, where the supplies will be home-delivered.
- Shops selling groceries and vegetables can open between 6 am-2 pm.
- Hotels are permitted to provide takeaway services between 6 am-8 pm
- Construction work will be allowed, only if employers provide a place for the workers to stay on the premises. Workers in Chennai should be tested for COVID-19.
- The government has prohibited auto rickshaw and taxi cabs services during the 21-day lockdown in all four districts.
- In the four districts, all ration cardholders will be paid ₹1,000, while workers in the unorganised sector will also be paid ₹1,000.
- On June 21 and June 28, a complete lockdown will be imposed without any relaxation. On these two days, only hospitals and pharmacies will be open, and milk supply vans, ambulances and funeral hearses will be allowed to operate.
Greater Chennai Police issued a series of instructions to be followed in the complete lockdown and warned that those who violate the lockdown will be booked under CrPc 144. The police will take strict action against those who produce fake vehicle passes.
Tamil Nadu reported 2,141 new COVID-19 cases today (June 18), taking the state tally to 52,334. The death toll stands at 625, with 49 deaths reported today, said the state health department in the daily bulletin.
The state government had earlier extended the lockdown till May 31 and had announced new relaxations such as resumption of public transport, allowing more employees to work in offices. The restrictions on inter-state bus transport, religious places, metro and suburban rail continued.