Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami told the State Assembly on Monday that Sec 144 would be imposed throughout the State from 6 p.m. on Tuesday and it would be in force till March 31. It is to contain the further spread of Coronavirus as the number of positive cases has gone up to nine in the State.
Simultaneously, all districts will be sealed till month-end.
Making a statement, the Chief Minister said the measure had become necessary that it had come to the notice of the Government that nearly 10,000 persons now under home quarantine after their return from abroad were moving about freely and they could infect others.
One-day notice has been given so that those working in cities like Chennai can go to their native places. However passengers who went to the suburban bus terminus in Chennai on Monday morning in anticipation of such a move waited for hours, but no buses were available. That was because the extended janata curfew in Tamil Nadu ended only at 5 a.m. on Monday.
Bus services are expected to be made available throughout the State till 6 pm on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister said movement of essential commodities like milk, water, vegetables and medicines would be allowed during this lock-down period and advised people not to buy in panic and hoard.
The idea in sealing borders of each district is to contain inter-district movement. The Government has already banned inter-State bus services while the Indian railways has cancelled all trains and even suburban train services till March 31.
All international flights have been cancelled. Only limited domestic flights are operating. And arriving passengers after thermal screening are advised home quarantine
The Chief Minister said a detailed statement would be issued in the course of the day, listing the steps that had been taken to contain the spread of coronavirus and what are the do’s and don’ts to be observed.
Faced with a directive from the Centre to immediately lock down Chennai, Kanchipuram and Erode districts which have reported positive cases, the Government went for prohibitory orders State-wide, outlawing assembly of more than five persons in public places.
Ban order in Puduchery too
The Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy also announced ban order under Sec 144 throughout the Union Territory, including enclaves of Mahe, Enaam and Karaikkal till March 31.
He said the prohibitory orders would be relaxed for two hours in morning and two hours in the evening so that people can come out to buy essentials. Shops selling essentials and vegetable markers will also be kept open