Chennai, Apr 24: Amid increase in number of corona cases, which has so far claimed 20 lives and 1,683 testing positive, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today announced total lockdown in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai Corporations from April 26 to 29 where the chances of spread of virus was very high.
In a statement after reviewing the situation with the committee of medical and healthcare experts at the State Secretariat here, he said total lockdown would be in force in these Corporations from 0600 hrs on April 26 to 2100 hrs on April 29. He also announced total lockdown in Salem and Tiruppur Corporations from 0600 hrs on April 26 to 2100 hrs on April 28. He said though the spread of the contagino was controlled to some extent in rural areas, the intensity of its spread was high in urban areas, especially in thickly populated areas.
''As the chances of spread of the virus is very high in big cities like Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai (where higher number of people tested positive), it has been decided to enforce total lockdown in these Corporations'', he added. He said during the meeting the experts suggested that only if the lockdown was intensified, the spread of the virus could be controlled. ''Based on their suggestions, it has been decided to enforce total lockdown in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai Corporations from April 26 to 29'', he added. Observing that coronavirus was a dangerous disease that could spread from one person to the other easily and speedily, Mr Palaniswami appealed to the people to extend their full support and cooperation to the government in tackling the spread of COVID-19 in the State.
He, however, said essential services like hospitals, medical testing centres, pharmacies, ambulances, mortuary van services, besides functioning of key departments like Health and Family Welfare, Police, Revenue and Disaster Management, Electricity, Aavin, Local bodies and Metro Water would function as usual. Apart from this 33 per cent of staff alone would be allowed to work in other Central government offices and banks for essential works, besides allowing normal functioning of Amma Canteens and ATMs.
While restaurants would be allowed to function only for online bookings with delivery at the doorsteps, those serving the aged, destitute and differently-abled would be exempted from the lockdown, along with wholesale Koyambedu vegetable markets and mobile fruit shops. However, none of the other shops would be allowed to function during the stringent lockdown period, Mr Palaniswami said. Apart from the above services, all other works were completely banned during this period and other government departments, including the Registration office. (UNI)