The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday extended the full lockdown in the state by another week amid a crippling second Covid wave sweeping the country. The restrictions will come into force from tomorrow. The previous lockdown was to end on May 24.
The state reported 467 new deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, a 17.6 per cent increase over 397 reported a day ago, as it registered 36,184 new cases in the last 24 hours, the health department's data showed. The number of new infections was 1 per cent higher than Thursday's 35,579, which was its highest ever.
There are currently 2,74,629 active coronavirus cases in the state with a positivity rate of 21.8 per cent.
According to the new guidelines, shops will remain open today and tomorrow till 9 pm to help public stock up on things. Mobile outlets, through the network of local bodies, will help supply vegetables and fruits in Chennai and across the state, said the government. All malls have been ordered to stay shut.
Banks, Private offices, said the government, will continue to operate in the work from home mode.
No e-registration is required for medical travel within districts, but e-registration is must for inter-district medical travel, it added. Also, people working in pharmacies or those supplying milk, water and newspaper can move without restrictions.
E-commerce companies will be allowed to deliver orders between 8 am to 6 pm, the government said.
While no eating out is allowed, there are staggered slots for takeaway restaurant deliveries: from 6 am-10 am; 12pm-3pm; 6pm-9pm.
Yesterday, neighbouring Karnataka extended lockdown till June 7; while Kerala advanced the same till May 30.
Most states have taken the lockdown route to cut the virus transmission cycle.
A particularly aggressive strain - B.1.617.2 - is driving the surge in cases in the country and also infecting younger age groups.