Chennai to Go Under Intense Lockdown Again As COVID Cases Rise
Seeing an upsurge in the Coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu, the state government has decided to put Chennai along with three other districts under complete lockdown. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced that the four districts would undergo an intense lockdown for 12 days starting June 19. Apart from Chennai, the other districts where lockdown would be imposed are Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu.
In a statement, the Tamil Nadu Government said, "Considering the spread of the virus and based on recommendations of health and medical experts, an intense lockdown will be in force from 00.00 hours on June 19 and midnight of June 30."
As per the government data, these four districts contribute to around 84% of the cases recorded so far in the state. In a detailed guideline, the state government has issued nature of activities that will be permitted, but mandated certain restrictions to avoid people's movement in the wake of a sharp rise in cases. The total death toll rose to 479 with 44 deaths in the state on Monday.
The state capital, Chennai has consistently seen a surge in COVID-19 positive cases. The state government in no way wants to increase the risk of community transfer. After a meeting with the cabinet and health experts, the state government announced to take a U-turn and opt for an intense lockdown. The government also announced that Rs. 1,000 monetary support will be provided to all the ration cardholders in the lockdown areas.
New Guidelines for Lockdown in Chennai And The Other Districts
- Ration shops will be allowed to function from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
- Grocery stores and petrol pumps will be functional from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
- People will be allowed to move only in case of emergencies with e-pass.
- People would be allowed to shop for the essential items within a radius of 2 km from their home.
- Restaurants and Hotels will be allowed to function, but with limited staff and will only be permitted to offer takeaways.
- The state and government offices will operate with 33% of the workforce. People in the containment zones will be exempted from going to the offices.
- The quarantine rules for the passengers coming from other states would remain the same.
Amidst the orders of the lockdown, Chennai Airport officials have confirmed that flight services to and fro Chennai will remain uninterrupted. In their tweet, the officials made clear that the lockdown will not impact the flight services in the city.
#Chennaiairport update: We are receiving numerous queries on airport operations during the intense #lockdown (June 19-30) period announced in #Chennai and neighbouring districts. It is hereby clarified that airport operations will continue undettered with existing regulations.— Chennai (MAA) Airport (@aaichnairport) June 15, 2020
The Greater Chennai Corporation has also tweeted zone-wise detailed status of COVID-19 cases. The corporation has also identified new containment zones in the city, where cases are rising.
Overall zone-wise detailed status of COVID-19 cases in #Chennai.#Covid19Chennai #GCC #ChennaiCorporation pic.twitter.com/GymxdJGRSj— Greater Chennai Corporation (@chennaicorp) June 16, 2020
After the government's decision to put Chennai and its suburbs under lockdown, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Dayanidhi Maran slammed the state government over its handling of the pandemic, and said that the state government lacks clarity in dealing with this critical crisis.