Tamil Nadu extends Covid-19 lockdown till March 31, asks offices to stagger work hours
The Tamil Nadu government has extended the Covid-19 lockdown in the state till March 31 as the existing lockdown ends on Sunday. The state government, in its new order on Sunday, said that the lockdown is being extended to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus effectively and also asked all district administrations to enforce strict Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
“The district administration shall take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and ensure the wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing,” the notification said. It also ordered the district authorities to carefully demarcate containment zones and follow all containment measures suggested by the Union health ministry within them.
“It shall be the responsibility of the local district, police and municipal authorities to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed,” the government mentioned in the order.
The government has also asked the district authorities to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOP) for various activities during the lockdown. It said, “These include movement of passenger trains; air travel; metro trains; schools; higher educational institutions; hotels and restaurants; shopping malls; multiplexes and entertainment parks; yoga centres and gymnasiums etc.” It also advised people above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age to take necessary precautions.
Offices, workplaces, shops, markets and industrial and commercial establishments were directed to follow staggering work hours. They have also been asked to ensure screening for symptoms, sanitisation facilities and social distancing norms.
Meanwhile, the state on Sunday reported 479 new Covid-19 cases and three new fatalities taking the tally to 8.51 lakh cases and 12,496 deaths, news agency PTI reported. Also, the Union ministry of health and family welfare had identified Tamil Nadu as one of the six states that have shown a surge in cases in the past 24 hours.