Tamil Nadu government has extended the Coronavirus-triggered lockdown in the state until 31 May, Chief Minister (CM) Edappadi K Palaniswami announced on Sunday (17 May), The Hindu reported.
A statement released by the CM said the decision of increasing the lockdown period was taken after the state government received inputs from public health and medical experts, District Collectors, and other concerned officials.
The CM said the ongoing restrictions will continue to remain in place in most areas. However, he announced some relaxations only for 25 districts -- Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Tiruppur, Namakkal, Karur, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi, Kanyakumari, Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul, Pudukkottai, Trichy, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Vellore, and Niligiris.
The relaxations are:
* No e-pass needed to ply vehicles within the district;
* For inter-district travel e-pass is needed;
* Not more than 20 passengers in the case a bus, seven persons in the case of a van, three in a sports utility vehicles and two persons in a small car operated by private companies or for government work;
* Taxis can be hired without e-pass for intra-district travel for emergency;
* 100 per cent workforce allowed for MNREGA work;
* For factories located outside Chennai, 100 per cent workforce is allowed for factories with less than 100 workers and for factories with over 100 workers, the workforce allowed is 50 per cent of the total workers subject to a maximum of 100 workers;
* Valuation of 12th standard exam papers will be allowed;
* Coaching for national and international sporting events is allowed with the permission of district collectors and
* In the 12 districts where intra-district transport is not allowed, plying of taxis and autorickshaws is allowed with e-pass for medical emergencies only.
Palaniswami said the government will announce further relaxations once the coronavirus spread is reduced.
He said action is being taken to bring back Tamils stranded in other states by train in stages and with Central government permission two Rajdhani Express trains between New Delhi and Chennai will be operated per week.
According to Palaniswami all other restrictions that are currently on will continue till further orders.
Train/air/bus services with the permission of Central and state government will be operated.
(With inputs from IANS)
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