As It Struggles To Bend Covid-19 Curve, Tamil Nadu Announces Intensified 12-Day Lockdown In Chennai, Three Other Neighbouring Districts From Friday

As It Struggles To Bend Covid-19 Curve, Tamil Nadu Announces Intensified 12-Day Lockdown In Chennai, Three Other Neighbouring Districts From Friday  Chennai Skyline (Wikimedia Commons)
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  • Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has blamed the congestion and narrow streets in Chennai for the large spread of coronavirus in the capital city.

Tamil Nadu today (15 June) announced an intensified lockdown for 12 days from 19 June to 30 June in capital Chennai and its neighbouring districts of Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chengalpattu.

However, essential commodities, items, including vegetables, and fuel will be available between 6 am and 2 pm during the intensive lockdown, an official press release said.

But on 21 and 28 June, there will be a total lockdown with these establishments being closed.

The release said that the lockdown was being implemented under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. It will be in force from 12.01 am on 19 June till 11.59 pm on 30 June.

However, the regulations would be relaxed for emergency services such as hospitals and transport for emergency medical services, besides allowing for 33 per cent attendance in Central and state government offices. Banks can also function with 33 per cent of the staff being allowed in office.

The lockdown announcement follows a recommendation from a medical experts committee that urged the Edappadi K Palaniswami government to withdraw certain relaxations in the coronavirus nation-wide lockdown conditions. It wanted these exemptions to go particularly in areas where the spread of the pandemic virus was high.

The Tamil Nadu government has been forced to come up with the 12-day lockdown as coronavirus positive cases in Chennai have touched 32,000 out of Tamil Nadu’s total cases of 44,661.

In Chengalpattu, 2,862 persons are Covid-19 positive, while the numbers in Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram are 1,865 and 709 respectively.

The rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Chennai has seen many people leave the capital city for other interior areas, where their entry is being resisted stiffly.

Palaniswami has blamed the congestion and narrow streets in Chennai for the large spread of coronavirus in the capital city.

Royapuram, which has reported 5,216 cases, is a congested area as also Tondiarpet, where 4,082 have tested positive. So also, Kodambakkam with 3,409 positives and Teynampet with 3,844 positive.

The congestion, including in hospitals, has made frontline workers prone to coronavirus infection.

102 doctors and 40 post-graduate medical students, drafted for duty to tackle the pandemic, have taken ill in the last 10 days at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGH)

English daily Deccan Chronicle reported that all the 142 exhibited only "mild symptoms" of Covid-19, which is not unusual in medical situations.

This was mainly due to the cramped space in the hospital, where the number of beds has been increased to admit patients. Hospital dean Dr R. Jayanthi has reportedly been mildly infected by the pandemic and she has gone on leave.

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