Tamil Nadu extends Covid-19 lockdown with existing norms until Aug 9, no new relaxations announced
The existing Covid-19 lockdown in Tamil Nadu has been extended with no additional relaxations till 6am on August 9, the state government announced on Friday. The decision to extend the curfew came following a review meeting chaired by chief minister MK Stalin earlier in the day, as the existing norms are scheduled to end at 6am on Saturday (July 31).
However, in its latest order, the government has directed the district collectors and the police personnel to strictly enforce the prescribed guidelines. Further, in places where crowding of people could be observed continuously, the government has also empowered the collectors, corporation commissioners and the police to lockdown the area completely considering public welfare.
In its previous order on July 16, Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) and industrial schools were allowed to operate with 50% attendance at a time. Moreover, teachers were also allowed to visit their schools for administrative work such as admissions, distribution of textbooks and planning of syllabus.
Since the norms would continue with no new relaxations, the cap on the number of people allowed in gatherings would also remain (50 for marriages and 20 for deaths/funerals).
Meanwhile, operation of private and government buses between districts (Puducherry exempted), international air travel other than on routes allowed by the Union home ministry, theatres, bars, swimming pools, social and political gatherings, recreational, sports and cultural activities, schools, colleges and zoological parks would continue to remain barred in the state. The government had revoked the e-registration system for inter-district travel earlier in the month.
Hotels, restaurants, lodges, tea shops and bakeries are currently operating between 6am and 8pm with half their seating capacities. Malls, jewellery and textile shops, shopping complexes and other such business establishments have been allowed to remain open between 9am and 8pm.
While places of worship have been opened for the public, festivals and consecration ceremonies have not been allowed.
The new order came as the state has been witnessing over at least 1,700 new cases every day in the week. On Thursday, 1,859 people tested positive for the disease while 28 patients succumbed to the illness. With this, the total confirmed cases reached 2,555,664 while the death toll climbed to 34,023. According to data from the Union ministry of health and family welfare, 22,328,039 doses of the vaccine have been administered to eligible beneficiaries in the state as of 7am on the day.
Earlier in the day, state health secretary J Radhakrishnan said that CM Stalin would launch a week-long awareness drive in the state on Saturday, according to a report by news agency ANI. He also said that several districts, including Chennai, Kanyakumari and Coimbatore, have been alerted where the cases are marginally higher.