Announcing relaxations such as allowing shops selling essential commodities to reopen and government offices to resume work, Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday announced extension of lockdown by one more week till June 14 to combat COVID-19. Overall, though the spread of coronavirus has come under control in Tamil Nadu, it continued to be on the rise in 11 districts including Coimbatore and the Nilgiris, he said.
Hence, such regions would have lesser relaxations and the rest of the state, relatively more, according to an official release. Across the state, standalone provision stores, vegetable shops, meat and fish stalls, pavement hawkers selling flowers besides other things would be allowed to function from 6 AM to to 5 PM and fish markets and slaughter houses shall be open only for wholesale trade.
Government offices shall resume work with 30 per cent employees and Sub Registrar’s office shall limit registration work by issuing ‘tokens’ only upto 50 per cent and matchwork industries could operate with 50 per cent workers. Except few essential departments including medical, other government offices were closed from last month.
Barring the 11 districts, in other regions, routine housekeeping and maintenance work in offices and residences would be allowed and workers including electricinas and plumbers shall be permitted to work between 6 AM and 5 PM albeit after getting e-pass following registration. Shops selling hardware items, electrical goods, vehicle spares, books and stationery and vehicle service stations could function from 6 AM to 5 PM.
In taxis and autorickshaws, three and two passengers respectively would be permitted and they could travel with ‘e-pass.’ Export units in cities such as Coimbatore, Tirupur, Salem, Karur and Erode and raw material manufacturing firms could work with 10 per cent of workers. Tirupur, Erode, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Ngapattinam, and Mayiladuthurai are the nine other districts that have been witnessing comparatively more cases.
Following discussions with top officials at the Secretariat over extending curbs on Friday, Stalin said e- pass from district administration is necessary to travel (for emergency purposes) to hillstations of Nilgiris, Kodaikanal, Yercaud and the tourist destination of Courtallam. The sale of fruits and vegetables through vehicles would continue, he said and requested the people to cooperate with the government and follow COVID-19 related guidelines.
All the fresh relaxations would come into effect on June 7 and permitted activities should be done by following COVID-19 protocol. The intense lockdown without relaxations across the state was previously extended upto June 7.
A two-week lockdown was clamped on May 10 in Tamil Nadu with some relaxations and subsequently, it was extended by one more week, till May 31 and relaxations were withdrawn. The additional restrictions from May 24 include closure of vegetable shops and provision stores, which were earlier allowed to work between 6 AM and 10 AM. To help ensure supply of vegetables and fruits, the government implemented sale through vehicles.
From April, following a steep rise in virus cases, restrictions were imposed one after the other which includes closure of places of worship. After logging over 36,000 cases last month, the fresh infections subsequently began to witness a decline in the state. On June 4, the recoveries (33,646) eclipsed the fresh cases (22,651). PTI ROH ROH 06051535 NNNN.