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TN govt directs closure of places of worship, cuts down bus, train transportation

PTI Chennai | Updated on March 19, 2020 Published on March 19, 2020

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami

Stores that sell essential commodities will function

As part of steps to combat the coronavirus, Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday ordered closure of important places of worship for darshan in Tamil Nadu, besides curtailing inter-state services by buses and trains.

Directing shutting of large retail outlets with centralised air conditioning facility till March 31, the Chief Minister advised private sector firms to take steps to allow their employees to work from home. He mandated continuation of medical counselling by health authorities for those quarantined at home.

Outlining the new measures to tackle the virus, he said temples that attracted large number of devotees, including the Madurai Meenakshi, Tiruchendur Lord Subramania, Srirangam Lord Ranganathaswamy and Tiruvannamalai Sri Arunachaleswara shrines will be closed for devotees till March 31.

Everyday poojas will be performed by priests in these temples, the Chief Minister said in a statement.

Palaniswami directed authorities to advise managements of big churches and mosques in the State to temporarily bar entry to pilgrims till March 31.

 

He said weekly markets and large retail showrooms with centralised air conditioning — like ones dealing in textiles and jewellery — will be shut till month end from tomorrow. “Stores selling essential commodities like groceries, fruits, vegetables, pharmacies and restaurants will function as usual,” the statement said.

Intra-state transportation cut down

As there is a chance of disease spreading from other states, “it has been decided to cut down bus transportation between states, and Railways has been requested to considerably slash incoming trains,” he said.

All passengers coming to Tamil Nadu by road or rail will be subjected to screening and surveillance shall be stepped up in domestic airport terminals.

Disinfectants should be sprayed twice in places where people congregate in large numbers in urban and rural regions and thrice at airports, railway, bus and metro rail stations, he added.

Palaniswami appealed to the people to cooperate with the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Published on March 19, 2020
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