Chennai: Amid sharp increase in COVID positive cases with the daily tally inching close to the 4,000 mark, the
Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced several restrictions from April 10 to prevent the spread of virus.
An official release here said temple all festivals, religious events and congregations were banned from April 10, while restricting allowing public in temples and other places of worship only till 2000 hrs.
The government, which had already extended the lockdown till April 30, also banned small traders at the Koyambedu wholesale market alone and also in major and wholesale markets in the districts.
While restricting Fruit and vegetables shops, shopping malls, large format stores, jewellery stores to operate only with 50 per cent capacity till 2300 hrs, it also said that only 50 per cent capacity allowed at tea shops, restaurants, allowed to operate till 2300 hrs with dining and take aways.
Similarly only 50 per cent capacity will be allowed in the recreation clubs, entertainment and amusement parks,
large event venues, zoos, parks, museums. The release said theatres, cinema screens in malls and stand alone theatres were allowed to function with only 50 per cent capacity from the present 100 per cent.
Only 200 people will be allowed in social, political, educational, entertainment, sporting and cultural events in indoor venues, while buses between districts and the MTC services in Chennai city (MTC) will be allowed to operate with only seated passengers.
The government clearly said no standing passengers should be allowed in buses. Apart from operation of international flights only in routes permitted by the Centre, the ban on operation of international flights will continue and the lockdown will be followed without any relaxations in containment zones.
It also said marriage events will be allowed subject to a maximum of 100 persons and 50 in funeral processions, while sports events will be allowed in stadiums without spectators, besides restricting occupancy in taxis to three passengers and the driver and two in autos.
The release said the number of persons under treatment for COVID has more than doubled from 13,070 on March 28 this year to 27,743 till yesterday.
Attributing this spike to people avoiding wearing of face masks and not following the SOPs announced by the government, it said the present restrictions were taken after Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan had a meeting with the Health, Revenue and Disaster Management authorities and district collectors, during which the authorities were directed to increase the RTPCR tests and increase vaccination drive against COVID.
Noting that 80,000 RTPCR tests were being done daily, it said the officials were also directed to take up increased and aggressive testing in containment zones, while advising all those above 45 years of age to take the vaccination shot in government or government permitted private hospitals within two weeks.