Tamil Nadu Lockdown 4.0: More Relaxations for 25 Districts; Not Much Relief For Chennai

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The Tamil Nadu government on May 17 extended the state-wide Covid-19 lockdown to May 31with more relaxations for 25 districts. However, the 12 badly-affected districts, including Chennai, which come under the containment zone will continue to observe the already existing lockdown restrictions due to the increasing coronavirus cases in these places. 

According to this Livemint report, people in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Tiruppur, Namakkal, Karur, Tirunelveli, Thenkasi, Tuticorin, Kanniyakumari, Theni, Madurai, Sivagangai, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul, Pudukottai, Trichy, Thiruvarur, Tanjavur, Nagapattinam, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Vellore and Nilgiris can now travel within the district without the state-government e-pass.

In Chennai and other 11 affected districts, taxis and auto-rickshaws will be permitted only for medical purposes with e-pass being a must. However, all malls, educational institutions and places of worship will remain shut across the state. 

The report also highlights that the government has relaxed norms for industries. Industries with less than 100 workers can operate in cities. Those with more than 100 personnel can work with 50% of staffers or a minimum of 100 workers (whichever is higher). This new relaxation applies to all regions in Tamil Nadu, except Chennai city and its suburbs. 

As of Thursday, May 22, India's Covid-19 count stands at 1,18,447. In that, Tamil Nadu has reported over 13,000 cases with the most number of cases coming from Chennai. The whole country continues to remain in lockdown till May 31, but with more relaxations. Rail and air services have been allowed to start in a staggered manner and shops have also been operating under the prescribed social distancing norms. However, the movement of individuals is now prohibited from 7 pm to 7 am nation-wide. 

Please stay home, but don't panic. Be cautious, and speak to your doctor or relevant medical personnel, to follow the protocol of the local health authorities. The helpline number is 1075 for Tamil Nadu, and the national helpline number is 011 23978046 and the dedicated email for any queries is ncov2019@gmail.com. 

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