Full lockdown a bitter pill, but no other go: TN CM Stalin

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Chennai, May 24 (PTI) A lockdown without any relaxation is a bitter pill but it is the only way out to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission and people should hence stay at home, Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Monday, the first day of a fresh week long intense shutdown.

Though some leeway was given during the first spell of lockdown from May 10, it was misused by some people for roaming around and it necessitated imposition of a shutdown without relaxations, he said.

In a video message posted on social media including his Twitter handle, Stalin said in order to break the coronavirus transmission chain, there is no other way but to impose a full lockdown as the virus spread happened only through humans.

Another reason for implementing intense lockdown is the number of people who have got infected in Tamil Nadu, which is 'panicky,' he said.

The fresh daily infections have crossed the 35,000 mark and people stepping outside of their homes in large numbers, is a key reason for it, he added.

The active cases crossed the three lakh mark on Monday and over 18.40 lakh people have tested positive so far.

A two-week lockdown commenced on May 10 in Tamil Nadu with some relaxations and the government on Saturday announced extension of curbs for one more week from May 24.

Also, the government brought in additional restrictions between May 24 and 31, including closure of vegetable shops and provision stores, which were allowed earlier to work between 6 AM and 10 AM.

The Chief Minister said, 'Though the spread of infection has come down to a small extent in view of lockdown with relaxations, it has not come under control.' The spread could be fully contained only by means of a shutdown without any relaxations.

'A complete lockdown is a bitter medicine. But people have to drink it,' Stalin said.

Imploring people to stay indoors complying with government stipulated norms to combat the virus, he said it would aid break the chain of virus transmission and help resumption of activities towards all round development of Tamil Nadu.

'The spread of coronavirus will for sure come under control if people complied fully with the lockdown norms,' he said.

People may come out of their homes only for medical requirements and complying with COVID-19 guidelines is the need of the hour, he said.

The Rs 4,000 cash assistance plan for rice ration card holders is among the measures being implemented by the government to help people who have been affected by the lockdown, he said.

The government is working towards achieving two goals, containing the virus spread and saving those infected.

He urged the people to eat healthy food like fruits and vegetables to increase immunity and get vaccinated since there was no other better weapon against the pathogen.

Norms like wearing mask and getting tested (if needed and in case of flu like symptoms) should also be followed, he said. PTI VGN BN BALA BN BALA

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