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COVID-19: All 54,000 who recently landed in Tamil Nadu from abroad to be home quarantined

The ban on delivery of cooked food through Zomato, Swiggy and UberEats would remain. But senior citizens, those who have fallen ill and those unable to cook can continue to get food from caterers.

Published: 26th March 2020 07:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2020 07:49 PM   |  A+A-

People seen with face masks in the Chennai Airport (Photo | Ashwin Prasath/EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Tightening the lockdown in the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday ordered that all 54,000 people who have arrived from foreign countries recently should be home quarantined and put under surveillance to ensure that they do not step out of their residences.

A decision to this effect was taken at the video conferencing meet chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami with all District Collectors at the secretariat. The meeting lasted over three hours.

ALSO READ: Chennai cops harass, beat up residents stepping out to buy groceries amid COVID-19 lockdown

“People who were in touch with those infected with the coronavirus also have been home quarantined. Since their movement is totally banned, District Collectors should take steps to supply all essential commodities to these families. Criminal action would be taken against those who violate this order and come out of their houses," the release said.

The government has also clarified that eateries and grocery shops have been allowed to function throughout the day and that no time slots have been fixed for them.

Important decisions taken at the meeting include formal extension of the statewide lockdown for two more weeks till April 14 in line with the central government's decision, formation of nine teams headed by senior IAS officers to resolve the issues arising out of the enforcement of the lockdown and to ensure all essential services to the people without any hurdles and setting up of help centres in all district headquarters to ensure supply and transportation of essential commodities. In Chennai, it will function from the Chennai Corporation office.

Coming to the rescue of people at the grassroots level, the government said, "Private banks, minor financial organisations, Self Help Groups are collecting daily/weekly/monthly interest along with principal amount from the loanees. This should be stopped forthwith until further orders and severe criminal action will be taken against those who violate this.”

Pregnant women, those who suffer from blood pressure, diabetes, TB and HIV infected persons who are receiving their medicines from government hospitals should be given medicines for two months.

Already, e-commerce organisations such as Grofers, Amazon, Big Basket, Flipkart, Dunzo have been allowed to supply essential commodities including groceries and medicines. Now, grocery shops and cooperative stores in local areas would be allowed to do door delivery of these goods.

The ban on delivery of cooked food through Zomato, Swiggy and UberEats would continue. But senior citizens, those who have fallen ill and those who can't cook and are getting cooked food from caterers can continue to get food from them. Those who are engaged in such services should wear the badge -- For Essential Services.

The movement of farm workers, equipment for harvesting, transportation of agricultural products to markets and factories would be allowed. Besides, transportation of cattle stock, chickens, fish, eggs and cattle feed would also be allowed. Those who face any difficulty in these movements can contact the Police Headquarters Control Room which functions round the clock by dialling 044-2844 7701, 044-2844 7703.

Depending upon the local requirements and prevailing situation, the District Collectors can arrange for door delivery of the relief materials and the monetary assistance announced by the government. However, on such occasions, taking fingerprints should be strictly avoided with a view to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Senior citizens, patients, pregnant women and isolated families and those who need to get dialysis treatment can call 108 for ambulance service.

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