The Tamil Nadu government on Monday has further extended the general state-wide lockdown now in force from July 1 to midnight of July 31, even while extending the 'full lockdown' in greater Chennai and parts of neighbouring Chengalpattu, Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, besides parts of Madurai district till July 5 midnight.
These parallel lockdowns will continue to be in force with "certain relaxations" which have been already allowed prior to June 19, as part of the State's efforts so far to consolidate the gains in containing the spread of Covid-19, and with a view to intensify the preventive and control measures to stop further spread of the novel coronavirus, under the State Disaster Management Act, an official release here said on Monday evening.
The release said these decisions were taken after extensive consultations the Chief Minister, Mr. Edappadi K Palaniswami had with the medical experts earlier in the day, besides on the basis of inputs gleaned from his video-conference with all the district collectors recently and suggestions by the expert panels including one headed by the Finance Secretary, Mr. S. Krishnan on the 'phased exit' from lockdown restrictions in Tamil Nadu.
The highlights of the announcements are that while no activity will continue to be permitted within any of the 'Containment Zones (CZ)' in the state including greater Chennai and neighbouring districts, already permitted trade, including groceries and vegetable shops, commercial and industrial activities would be allowed to resume, subject to observing social distancing and other norms, from July 1 in other parts of the State.
In greater Chennai, parts of neighbouring Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, besides in Madurai and parts of its rural hinterland, where the 'full lockdown' will continue till midnight of July 5, the already permitted activities (before June 19) will be allowed from July 6 till July 31, subject to observance of social distancing and other curfew norms. The 'general lockdown' in these areas will continue till July 31 after the expiry of the 'full lockdown' on the midnight of July 5, the release emphasised.
Amid these, there will, however, be a "complete lockdown" across Tamil Nadu on the four Sundays falling on July 5, July 12, July 19 and July 26, when nothing except bare essential services like milk and water supply besides medical services and pharmacies will function, the release said.
Significantly, inter-district public bus transport by TNSTC (Tamil Nadu State
Transport Corporation) will be stopped from July 1 to July 15, the release said, while the requirement of people having to get an ePass for inter-district and inter-state travel will continue to be in force till July 31.