Tamil Nadu government on Sunday extended Covid-induced lockdown in the state till 31 March, 2021 amid spurt in novel coronavirus cases. The state government, in its new order, instructed authorities to enforce strict Covid-19 norms to curb virus spread as well as take action against violators.
The earlier shutdown was imposed till 28 February, 2021.
"...the Government of Tamil Nadu hereby order to extend the State-wide lockdown till 24:00 hrs of 31.3.2021 under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 with various relaxations," the notification stated.
The order says that the district administration should strictly enforce measures to prevent and manage Covid-19 and can "as far as possible use provisions of Section 144."
The order also stated that there should be "strict adherence to the prescribed Standard Operating Procedures(SOPs)." These include movement of passenger trains; air travel; metro trains; schools; higher educational institutions; hotels and restaurants; shopping malls, multiplexes and entertainment parks; yoga centres and gymnasiums etc. "These SOPs shall be strictly enforced by the district authorities concerned, who shall be responsible for their strict observance," it added.
The following activity shall continue to remain prohibited until further orders, during the lockdown period throughout the state till March-end including:
All international air travel of passengers, except for purposes as permitted by MHA remain prohibited.
COVID appropriate behaviour: The District administration shall take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and ensure wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.
Surveillance and Containment: Containment Zones, if required shall be carefully demarcated by the district authorities, at the micro level, taking into consideration the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in this regard. Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures, as prescribed by MoHFW, shall be scrupulously followed.
It shall be the responsibility of local district, police and municipal authorities to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed. The District administration shall ensure accountability of the officers concerned in this regard.
Protection of vulnerable persons: Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to take necessary precautions. VII. Use of AarogyaSetu Use of AarogyaSetu may continue on best effort basis on compatible mobile phones. This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk.
National Directives for COVID-19 Management
1. Face coverings: Wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places; Sr workplaces; and during transport.
2. Social distancing: Individuals must maintain adequate distance in public places. Shops will ensure physical distancing among customers.
3. Spitting in public places will be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the State, local authority in accordance with its laws, rules or regulations. Additional Directives for work places
4. Staggering of work/ business hours will be followed in offices, work places, shops, markets and industrial & commercial establishments.
5. Screening & hygiene: Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash or sanitizer will be made at all entry points and of hand wash or sanitizer at exit points and common areas.
6. Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact e.g. door handles etc., will be ensured, including between shifts.
7. Social distancing: All persons in charge of work places will ensure adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staff, etc.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu recorded 479 fresh coronavirus cases and three more deaths, taking the overall caseload to 8.51 lakh and the toll to 12,496, the health department said on Sunday.
Recoveries eclipsed new cases with 490 people being discharged, taking the cumulative number to 8,35,024, leaving 4,022 active cases in the state. Chennai accounted for the maximum number of infections with 182, taking the total to 2,35,532 till date.
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