Insight Online News
Chennai, Jan 9 : Roads wore a deserted look, buses and autos were off the roads and all business and commercial establishments downed their shutters, in view of the Sunday complete lockdown enforced by the Tamil Nadu government due to vertical increase in daily COVID cases in the State and the threat posed by the fast spreading Omicron variant.
A bandh like situation prevailed, as apart from public transport services,
the Chennai Metro Rail services also did not operate in view of the total
lockdown, which was imposed after a gap of several months.
However, Southern Railway operated skeletal suburban EMU services for
the benefit of those involved in essential services, like doctors, media,
Ever since the dawn of the New Year, there has been a seven-fold increase
in the daily caseload, which has inched closer to the 11,000 mark in the
State as on yesterday.
The State Capital of Chennai turned into a hotspot, accounting for nearly
46 per cent with more than 5,000 cases. The neighbouring districts of
Kanchipuram, Chengalpet and Tiruvallur, besides Coimbatore, also saw
a sharp rise in cases as Tamil Nadu has been in the grip of the highly
transmissible and fast spreading variant of SARS-CoV-2, posing a tough
challenge for the government to contain its spread.
The spread of the present third wave was so rapid that it took a mere seven
days for the cases to rise from 1,000 to 7,000 when compared to 58 days
and 26 days during the first and second wave respectively.
As part of controlling the virus spread, Chief Minister M K Stalin, after
holding talks with medical experts and other officials, had imposed night
curfew (10.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m) from January six onwards, while banning
public entry into temples, churches, mosques and other places of worship.
Going a step further, Mr Stalin announced full lockdown on Sundays which
came into being today as fresh COVID clusters were found in colleges,
textile and other shops.
Mr Stalin said essential services were exempted from the lockdown, while
hotels were allowed to provide takeaways till 10.00 pm.
All those attending competitive and other exams, interviews, those going
to airports and railway stations were allowed to travel by showing the
necessary documents and tickets.
The government also announced that people could attend marriages and
other family functions despite a complete lockdown in force by showing the
wedding invitations and that the police department personnel would cooperate
Police have tightened security measures across the state and those found
wandering in the streets were strictly warned.
In Chennai and suburbs, more than 300 check posts were erected and those
travelling in two-wheelers and cars were stopped to ascertain the reason
for the travel. If there was no valid reason, police seized the vehicles.
Other restrictions announced by the government included closure of creches,
pre kg and ukg, nursery schools, banning physical classes for students of
Standard 1 to 9, closure of all colleges till January 20, barring government
and private medical colleges.