Tamil Nadu extends lockdown till August 31; eases restrictions

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on July 30, 2020

Companies can function with 75% of staff; e-pass mandatory for inter-district/State movement

It is ‘lockdown Version 7.0’ for Tamil Nadu as the State government extended the Covid-19 restrictions till August 31 but with a fresh set of relaxations.

A complete lockdown will be in force on all Sundays — August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 — said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday. The announcement comes a day after the Centre announced Unlock India 3.0 guidelines.

The decision to extend the lockdown by one more month in Tamil Nadu was taken after the Chief Minister met health experts today ahead of the previous lockdown ending on July 31. He said that the mortality rate due to the virus in Tamil Nadu was 1.6 per cent, the lowest in the country, while in Chennai alone it was 2.1 per cent.

New guidelines

On Wednesday, Palaniswami met with all the district collectors through a video conference. Under the new lockdown guidelines, in Chennai (except containment zone), delivery of all e-commerce items will be allowed. Companies can function with 75 per cent workforce from the current 50 per cent. Hotels can function with 50 per cent dining capacity from 6 am to 7 pm without air conditioning. Parcel service is permitted till 9 pm.

The present restrictions on rail and air services will continue. Educational institutions, theatres, gyms, shopping malls and swimming pools and tourist spots will be closed. Schools and colleges have been asked to promote online teaching.

In all the other districts, the existing lockdown restrictions will continue till August 31. Also, e-Pass is compulsory to travel between districts and to other States, he said.

Industry welcomes move

Hari K Thiagarajan, Chairman, CII Tamil Nadu State Council, said allowing 75 per cent of workforce in industrial units, easing restrictions on the sale of e-commerce products and extending the working hours of shops and restaurants will pave the way for quick revival of economy and also restore livelihood.

The calibrated and cautious approach taken by the State government during the lockdown has improved the business sentiments in the State. The measures taken by the Government in attracting new investments during the lockdown period has created a clear roadmap for Tamil Nadu to become the number one destination for attracting overseas investments in the country, he said.

New cases

A total of 5,864 Covid-19 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours in Tamil Nadu to take the total number of infections in the State to 2.39 lakh. After 5,295 Covid-19 patients were discharged, the number of active cases was 57,962.

The number of deaths in the State increased by a record high of 97 to a total of 3,838. Today, 61,202 samples were tested to take the total testing to 25.97 lakh.

In the last 24 hours in Chennai, an additional 1,175 cases were reported; 1,126 Covid-patients were discharged and 18 deaths were reported. The number of active cases in the city is 12,785.

Published on July 30, 2020

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