PUDUCHERRY: In view of rising Covid cases, the territorial administration has decided to impose total lockdown once a week on Tuesdays from August 18 till August 31, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said on Wednesday.
Shortly after chairing the Puducherry state Disaster Management Authority (PSDMA) meeting at Chief Secretariat on Wednesday evening, he said that since a lot of weddings and social functions are planned on Sundays, it has been decided that lockdowns will take place on Tuesdays.
It will be enforced from 6 a.m on Tuesday to 6 a.m on Wednesday.
All markets, business establishments, banks, and other offices will remain closed.
Besides, it has been decided that from Friday, shops will remain open from 6 a.m to 7 p.m, instead of the present 9 p.m.
He cautioned that if the participants in marriages exceed 50 persons and social distancing is not maintained, action will be taken.
It was also mentioned that more funds are required for procuring necessary equipment, ambulances and in appointing healthcare workers, for which Rs 25 crores have been released from the CM's relief funds.
The administration would be procuring 10,000 antigen kits as well as RT-PCR test kits to enhance testing. Over 70,000 PPE kits are available at present. Anybody found trying to procure Remdesivir, would be dealt with action.
He said that in spite of repeated requests to provide Rs 975 crore for COVID containment, so far centre has provided only Rs 3 crores.
Puducherry administration had sought Rs 250 crores as interim relief, but even that has not been provided.
At present revenue has declined to 740 crores while Rs 560 crores GST compensation is pending from the centre.
Chief Minister said that JIPMER Director has said seven percent of the population has been affected so far and advised the administration to make arrangement for the spike in cases in the coming weeks.
The chief minister said that COVID tests were conducted on 50,000 people out of the total population of 13 lakhs in the union territory which is 12 percent of the population.
Action is being taken to enhancing test further. In IGMCRI , the laboratory has a capacity to test 600 samples , while JIPMER has a capacity for 1000. Along with private medical colleges, the capacity of testing is being enhanced to 2000 samples per day , he said.
After getting central funds , the government will consider providing relief to the people.