Here Is All That Is Shut Down in Chennai Amid the Corona Outbreak
Coronavirus Chennai impact: The Tamil Nadu government has ordered a shutdown of all educational institutions, malls, supermarkets and other places of mass gathering until 31 March.
Coronavirus Chennai impact: The Tamil Nadu government has ordered a shutdown of all educational institutions, malls, supermarkets and other places of mass gathering until 31 March.(Photo: The Quint)

Here Is All That Is Shut Down in Chennai Amid the Corona Outbreak

Even as the nation grapples with coronavirus, with many state governments calling for and imposing restrictive measures to curtail social gatherings, the urgency had not caught up with Tamil Nadu until a circular from the state government was issued on Monday evening. The Edappadi Palaniswami-led government has ordered a shutdown of all educational institutions, malls, supermarkets and other places of mass gathering until 31 March.

Even private establishments have issued orders to the students and faculty members to return to their hometowns and advised foreign students to avoid travel abroad.

The measures were announced as part of efforts to reduce interaction among people (social distancing), and thus control the spread of the pandemic.

The state of Tamil Nadu reported its first coronavirus case on March 7th, when a 45-year-old engineer from Kancheepuram tested positive after returning from Oman. The patient has since recovered.

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List of Establishments Shutdown

Here is a list of everything that will be under lockdown until the end of March:

  • All educational institutions, theatres, malls, gyms, amusement parks, swimming pools to be closed
  • Wedding halls must not take fresh bookings until further orders
  • Planned events can take place, but the advisory is to keep the crowds to a minimum. For a wedding planned for 100 people, should include only 100-odd guests
  • No permission granted for rallies, public meetings, summer camps, conferences, exhibitions, cultural or sporting events
  • Sports arenas, bars, clubs and other recreational facilities shut
  • Resorts to remain closed during the period and cannot accept any advance booking from guests till 31 March.
  • People advised to avoid gathering at places of worship, beaches
  • TASMACs, that is state-owned liquor shops, to be shut down
  • Anganwadi centres will be closed but dry rations for children in these anganwadis would be handed over to their parents.
  • Private institutes, such as SRM University, Central University of Tamil Nadu, NIT Trichy, Vels University and VIT have closed campuses
All malls  have been shut down till 31 March.
All malls have been shut down till 31 March.
(Photo: The Quint)

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Advisory on Precautionary Measures to be Taken

Only the board exams and practical exams for class X and XII and entrance exams will take place as scheduled. Until the exams are completed, hostels for students and residential schools will continue to function.

Government offices, medical and related educational institutions will function as usual.

Officials in health, transport, police and district administration in border districts have been instructed to screen passengers with thermal scanners at toll plazas.

Government has advised screening at places of worship. People have been advised to avoid traveling to other states for at least 15 days.

People have been instructed to ensure personal hygiene, wash hands with soap while entering the house and at regular intervals, to sanitise their homes and prefer home-cooked meals.

The chief minister has stated that stringent action will be taken against those spreading rumours and false news, in the form of news or on social media, about coronavirus in the state.

Parents to ensure children don’t play in groups and that the children wash their hands with soap.

Palaniswami has also written to the Railway Minister to advice the General Manager of Southern Railway to ensure cleaning of railway coaches and the stations.

The Chief Minister said that the state is looking at creating more quarantine facilities at international airports in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchi.

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The 24-hour helpline can be accessed on the phone numbers 104, 044-29510400, 044-29510500, 9444340496 and 8754448477.

Several private establishments, including IT companies and banks, have offered their employees ‘work from home’ option.

If anyone exhibits symptoms of cough, fever, body pain, fatigue, they are advised to avoid going to office and get themselves checked by their family doctor. And then proceed to the government hospital immediately.

The coronavirus lab test facility is presently available in King’s Institute of Preventive Medicine & Research, Chennai and Government Medical College, Theni.

The CM had earlier released 60 crores for preventive measures.

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Chennai’s Shaheen Bagh Protest Suspended

The massive gathering at Washermanpet, Chennai’s very own Shaheen Bagh decided to call off their protest in the wee hours of 18 March, that is on the 34th day.

“For the welfare of the people, we have decided to temporarily call off the protest against CAA and NRC. Once the situation gets better, we would continue our protests with renewed vigour till the TN assembly passes a resolution against CAA-NPR-NRC,” a statement read.

Opposition party DMK’s President MK Stalin, had addressed the gathering on Monday evening extending his support to their protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

He had urged the hundreds gathered to temporarily call off the protest considering the pandemic.

Protesters had initially told they will not budge, as the state government had still not bothered to meet them to hold talks.

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‘Precaution Is Not Panic’

Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan, actor and President of Makkal Needhi Maiam urged the government to act on a war footing.

He said in a statement the government should have an emergency meeting with private sector medical personnels and authorise them to call the labs with testing facilities to take samples for testing from the suspected patients. In terms of issuing instructions to both government and private hospitals on protocols on screening, detecting and treatment.

He also suggested the government "keep blood screening test kits (specific anti-body detection) ready for mass screening, in case the situation escalates."

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