Tamil Nadu Extends Lockdown Till March 31, Offices To Stagger Timings


Tamil Nadu reported nearly 500 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours (File)

Chennai:

Tamil Nadu has extended existing coronavirus-related restrictions till March 31, meaning offices, shops, and industrial and commercial establishments will continue with staggered working hours.

Authorities have been directed to crack down on violations of these or any other Covid-related protocols. Police and municipal authorities have been further directed to ensure that measures in containment zones – which will now be demarcated at micro-levels – are strictly followed.

International travel, restrictions on which were yesteday extended by the DGCA, remains prohibited in the state, except for those related to essential services and permittted exceptions.

The state government has cautioned people over 65, those with co-morbidities, those who are pregnant, and children under the age of 10 to take all necessary and required precautions.

The state reported 486 new cases (and five deaths linked to the virus) over the past 24 hours, the Health Department said on Sunday night, placing it among the top five states on both counts.

Overall the state has reported more than 8.51 lakh cases – of which around 8.34 lakh are recoveries and around 12,000 are deaths – since the pandemic broke in December 2019.

The number of active cases is around the 4,000-mark.

Starting Monday the second phase of vaccination will begin in the state (and across the country), with people over the age of 60, and those over 45 but with co-morbidities, in line to get the shot.

The state is also preparing to hold Assembly elections, with voting for its 234 seats scheduled to take place in a single phase on April 6. The Union Territory of Puducherry, which is around 150 km from state capital Chennai, will vote for its 30 seats on the same day.

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