Puducherry, Jul 31 (PTI) In line with central guidelines, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy announced on Friday that the lockdown now in force here has been extended till August 31 but with relaxation in restrictions.
Addressing reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting, the chief minister said the territorial administration would fall in line with the Centre`s guidelines on easing of curbs during the shutdown.
All shops and establishments would be permitted to do business from 6 am-9 pm every day as against 6 am-8 pm now.
The chief minister said curfew would be strictly enforced and would be in force from 9 pm-5 am the next day.
Narayanasamy said there would be no 'total lockdown' on Sundays as it would mean inducing people to throng shops and markets on Saturdays inuncontrollable numbers.
Fearing that there would be big rise in number of COVID-19 patients in the Union Territory ranging between 2,600 to 6,000 at the end of August 31, the chief minister said the government had finalised steps to ramp up infrastructure facilities and appointment of additional health professionals.
He said the Union Territory now had death rate at 1.4 per cent as against 2.5 per cent at the national level.
All places of worship would adhere to the norms and guidelines evolved by the Centre.
Narayanasamy said while Puducherry and Karaikal would have the lockdown and easing of curbs till August 31 as per Centre's guidelines, Mahe and Yanam regions would adhere to the pattern of lockdown adopted in neighbouring Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in which these regions are contained as enclaves of Puducherry.
He thanked the private medical college hospitals for responding to the plea of the government to make facilities including beds available for accommodating coronavirus stricken patients.
'The management of centrally administered JIPMER had assured to earmark 150 beds more in the hospital for accommodating the patients referred by the territorial government,' the chief minister said.
As part of the guidelines,no political party or any organisation would be permitted to hold demonstrations, dharnas or agitations and this ban would be strictly enforced.
There should be no big turnout of people at social functions and funerals as there was necessity to prevent spread of the virus.
People should adhere to social distancing and those who were above 60 should avoid venturing out as it had been seen that 70 per cent ofthe 49 people who had succumbed to the infection so far were sixty years and above, Narayanasamy added.PTI COR BN WELCOME BN WELCOME