Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, marking a second wave in the state, the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday imposed new restrictions to contain the spread of the infection. The new restrictions have been framed without affecting the livelihoods of the general public.
An official release here blamed the failure of the public to wear masks and maintain physical distancing in public places for the surge in cases. However, the release did not mention the large gatherings witnessed during the past four months for election campaigns across the state. Significantly, no fresh restrictions have been issued for the functioning of TASMAC shops.
During the recent meetings chaired by Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan on April 5 and 7, health and medical experts observed that besides taking effective containment measures, restrictions should also be intensified across the state to control the spread of the infection, the release added.
The government also pointed out that imposing certain restrictions became inevitable since the infection is spreading speedily. It also pointed out that in India, COVID-19 cases are increasing in the states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.
In Tamil Nadu too, the infection is going up in some districts due to functions, festivals, meetings etc., and since people fail to wear face masks in public places and due to failure to adhere to the standard operating procedures at working places.
The number of active COVID-19 cases that stood at 13,070 on March 28 had gone up to 27,743 on April 7. The Tamil Nadu government has been taking measures to contain the spread of this infection and on an average, 80,000 RT PCR tests are being done across the state. Besides, increased and aggressive testing is being conducted in containment zones.
With a view to contain the spread of the infection in Chennai Corporation limits, field level teams would be formed for each of the zones to monitor the situation. Similarly, monitoring teams will also be formed in all districts.
To curb the movement of persons in containment zones, a team of officials from police, local bodies and health department will be formed for physical monitoring of the zones round the clock. Besides continuing the containment activities, focus volunteers would also be involved to cater to the essential needs of the people living in containment zones.
Here are the new restrictions that come into force from April 10 with strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures:
Festivals and religious congregations are prohibited. In all places of worship, devotees will be allowed only till 8 pm.
At the Koyambedu market complex in Chennai, retail outlets for fruit and vegetable will not function. Similarly, fruits and vegetable retail outlets in wholesale markets in all the districts will remain closed.
Passengers will not be allowed to travel standing in government and private buses across the state including MTC buses in Chennai.
Similarly, in inter-state buses being operated to Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, passengers will not be allowed to travel standing.
Only 50 percent customers will be allowed at a time in vegetable shops, provision shops, shopping malls and big showrooms including jewellery and textile showrooms. These will be allowed to function till 11 pm.
In hotels and tea shops, 50 percent seating will be allowed till 11 pm and parcel service will also be allowed.
Only 50 percent seating will be allowed in restaurants, food courts and tea shops and they will be allowed to function till 11 pm. Takeaway (parcel food) will be permitted upto 11 pm.
Recreation clubs, entertainment and amusement parks, zoological parks, museums, cinema theatres in multiplex and shopping malls will be allowed to function with 50 percent seating capacity.
Only 100 guests will be allowed to attend wedding functions.
Only 50 persons will be allowed in funeral processions.
All social, political, academic, entertainment, sports, cultural and other functions will be permitted in closed spaces with a maximum ceiling of 200 persons.
In sports stadiums and playgrounds, sports competitions can take place without spectators, while in swimming pools, only sports training will be allowed.
Exhibition halls will be allowed only for business to business events.
Shooting for TV and films will be allowed but the management should ensure that all artists and workers undergo RT-PCR tests and vaccinations for COVID-19.
Only two passengers can travel in auto rickshaws, while in call taxis, only three persons will be allowed
E-registration system will continue for those coming from other states and countries except Puducherry, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.