NEWS
23/03/2020 11:18 AM IST | Updated 23/03/2020 5:03 PM IST

Coronavirus: Chennai Among 3 Districts Locked Down, Section 144 Across Tamil Nadu Tomorrow

The state had already shut borders with neighbours, including Karnataka and Kerala, while allowing trucks ferrying essential commodities.

ARUN SANKAR via Getty Images
Health workers wearing facemasks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, spray disinfectant at the corporation office in Chennai on March 20, 2020. 

Section 144 will be imposed across Tamil Nadu on Tuesday evening till March 31 to implement a state-wide lockdown, CM Edappadi K Palanswami announced on Monday.

This has already been in place in three districts of Tamil Nadu—Chennai, Kancheepuram and Erode—after the Central government put them on its list of 80 districts to be locked down across India.

On Monday, Palaniswami told the state assembly that shops providing milk, vegetables, groceries, mutton, chicken and fish will continue to function during the lockdown period, while state borders will be sealed.

Three people had tested positive for coronavirus in the state a day earlier, taking the total confirmed cases in Tamil Nadu to nine. Among the nine positive patients, one 45-year old man from Kancheepuram has been discharged.

While the ‘janta curfew’ across the country ended at 9 pm on Sunday, Tamil Nadu had extended it to 5 am on Monday.

Metro rail, passenger trains and inter-state bus services are suspended till March 31.

The Tamil Nadu government had already shut state borders with neighbours, including Karnataka and Kerala, while allowing trucks ferrying essential commodities.

Chennai’s commissioner, had on Saturday announced the closure of the city’s beaches, including Marina Beach, Elliots Beach in Besant Nagar, Palavakkam Beach and Thiruvanmiyur Beach from 3pm on Saturday till further notice, The NewMinute reported.

PMK, an ally of the ruling AIADMK, has favoured a lockdown till March 31 across Tamil Nadu.

So far, the Tamil Nadu government has declared holiday for educational institutions across the state till March 31. It has also shut down theatres, shopping malls, amusement parks, museums and other places where people gather in large numbers.

The Class 10 board exams scheduled to be held between March 27 and April 13 have been postponed and will take place after April 15.

‘Amma Canteen’ run by local bodies across Tamil Nadu have remained open.

Hyundai Motor India said in a statement that it will suspend vehicle production at its Chennai facility from Monday till further notice.

The company said it will offer extended support of two months to customers who are not able to avail vehicle warranty or extended warranty or free service due to health emergency or dealership shutdown in affected cities.

DMK’s response

Opposition party DMK and its allies Congress and Indian Union Muslim League boycotted the ongoing assembly session on Monday to put pressure on the government to adjourn it.

DMK president MK Stalin had on Sunday said the government needs to ensure essential needs, including food, for marginalised people like daily wage earners, pavement dwellers and those living on alms.

Stalin said his party MLAs and MPs will donate one month’s salary to the Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund to help workers of the unorganised sector hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Palaniswami has said that the government was taking adequate measure to keep safe the legislators who come to take part in the assembly proceedings.