Total lockdown begins in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu amid rising Covid cases

In wake of rising COVID-19 cases, the governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka has imposed total lockdown in their states from May 10 to 24.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said in a statement the lockdown was being enforced due to "unavoidable reasons" and pointed out that the decision was taken based on inputs received at a review meeting he had with district collectors on Friday, besides consultations with medical experts.

"The total lockdown will be enforced from 4 am on May 10 to 4 am on May 24 to further intensify the efforts to curb the spread of the disease," Stalin said.

The state-run liquor outlets operated by Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), all bars, spas, gyms, beauty parlours, salons, auditoria, cinema theatres, recreation clubs and amusement and zoological parks will be shut during this period.

Beaches and tourist attractions in the hilly locations of Udhagamandalam and Kodaikanal will be out of bounds for people.

Offices of government departments other than those dealing with essential services including Health, Revenue, Police, Fire and Rescue Services and Disaster Management will also not function.

All private offices and companies and IT and ITES firms shall also remain closed and employees can work from home.

Existing restrictions regarding places of worship, the cap on attendees in wedding and death-related events will continue while educational institutions will remain closed.

Inter and intra-district public and private bus services will be suspended while hire taxis and autorickshaws cannot ply.

Those travelling for essential work like wedding, death, interview or exams shall produce proof to be allowed permission to proceed, the chief minister added.

Standalone shops selling vegetables, groceries, provision items, fish and meat products can remain open till 12 noon with only fifty per cent of customers.

E-commerce firms distributing these can do so till noon, he added.

"Other than the aforementioned shops, no other establishments can run," during the lockdown, Stalin said.

There shall be no dine-in services in hotels and tea shops. Instead, they can sell takeaways. Tea stalls have to down shutters by noon.

He said those allowed to work during the lockdown period include media, courier firms, hospitals and related services, fuel outlets, continuous process industries, data centres, and telecom services.

State-run Amma Canteens will remain open, platform vendors selling vegetables and flowers can do so till 12 pm and fair price shops will work from 8 am to 12 noon, he said.

Stalin urged people to follow the covid protocols and extend cooperation to the government's pandemic prevention activities.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced restrictions on a similar vein on Friday.

"The second wave of COVID-19 is creating havoc across the state as the Corona curfew imposed in the state has not yielded the expected result in reducing the infection and death rate," the chief minister said.

"Therefore, the government has decided to impose a stringent measure to check the spread of the disease and death. Restrictions will be imposed in the entire state from 6 am of May 10 to 6 am of May 24," he said.

All shops and commercial establishments, hotels, pubs and bars will remain closed during this period, Yediyurappa said.

Essential goods and services like food, medicine, milk, fruits and vegetables, etc will be available from 6 am to 10 am, he added.

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