COVID surge : 2-week complete lockdown comes into force in TN


Chennai, May 10 (UNI) The two-week complete and total lockdown, with some relaxations came into force in Tamil Nadu from Monday morning in view of the surge in daily corona cases. Chief Minister M K Stalin, who assumed office on May seven and 
held a review meeting with all the district collectors and medical experts on the prevailing COVID pandemic, announced the total lockdown from 4.00 AM today till 4.00 AM on May 24 to flatten the rising COVID curve. 
In a bid to ensure that people stock enough essentials ahead of the lockdown, the State government had allowed opening of all shops without any restrictions across the State from 0600 hrs to 2100 hrs on Saturday and yesterday. As the lockdown came into force, all inter-district and intra-district  transport services, including public and private buses, autos, call taxis, cabs were off the roads, except for essential travel like weddings, funerals, job interviews and hospitals on production of relevant documents. 
All the state-owned TASMAC liquor shops remained closed from today for two weeks, prompting the tipplers to store enough stock 
as the sales crossed more than Rs 400 crores across the State during the weekends. While all shops except vegetables,grocery and provision stores and meat stalls, remain closed, non air-conditioned provision and grocery stores and meat stalls remained open till 12 noon with a maximum of 50 per cent customers. Except for those involved in food delivery, other e-commerce firms were not allowed to function, while hotels and restaurants are allowed to function for takeaway services only in the stipulated time. 
Tea shops also remained open but only till 12 noon. Beauty parlours, salons and spas, besides all social, political, sports, recreational, educational and cultural events are not allowed during the lockdown. 
Barring essential departments such as offices in the Secretariat,health, revenue, police, fire service, district administration, drinking 
water and electricity, all other government offices remained shut. 
Except for continuous process industries, all private offices, including IT and ITES firms, too were remain closed and allowed to work from home. 
All temples and places of worship, beaches and tourist spots like the Ooty in Nilgiris district and Kodaikanal are also made out of bounds for public from today. 
As per the announcement made by Mr Stalin, Amma canteens, which offer food at subsidised rates, continued to function along with pavement shops selling flowers and vegetables till 12 noon. 
Ration shops too functioned from 0800 hrs to 1200 noon, as that  of organisations caring for the elderly and differently-abled. 
Apart from courts, the ongoing construction in situ construction activities  also allowed to function.
Petrol and diesel bunks functioned as usual along with banks, ATMs and bank-related transport with 50 per cent staff.