Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Wednesday announced that a total lockdown will be imposed in the state on Sunday amid rising infection rates due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19.The government has also brought back the night curfew (10 pm-5 am) from Jan 6. Besides, it has also directed school authorities to suspend normal classes to break the chain of transmission.
The decision to impose fresh curbs comes a day after CM Stalin held a meeting with state health minister Ma Subramanian, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, and state public health officials, including T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
Full list of restrictions in Tamil Nadu
.Complete lockdown on Sundays.
.Night lockdown from 10 pm-5am.
.No permission for Pongal-related functions/gatherings.
.Public transport including bus, suburban trains, and Metro to run at 50% seating
.No permission to devotees in places of worship on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays.
.Only online classes will be allowed for classes 1 to 9 and physical classes for classes 10, 12.
Meanwhile, Governor RN Ravi has said that the Tamil Nadu government is fully prepared to tackle Covid’s Omicron variant and the challenges it poses, in his maiden address to the state Nadu Assembly.
Earlier on Tuesday, Stalin had appealed to the people of Tamil Nadu to be vigilant and inoculate themselves at the earliest. He also urged the people to adhere to Covid-19 protocols, including wearing masks, social distancing, sanitizing and washing of hands regularly to prevent the spread of the infection.
Meanwhile, the fresh Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu have risen from 1,728 cases on Monday to 2,731 cases while the test positivity rate rose from 0.7 per cent on December 30 to 2.6 per cent showing a quantum jump in infected cases. In Chennai alone fresh Covid cases increased to 1,489 from 876 cases on Monday. This, according to state health officials, accounts for 55 per cent of the total infected cases of Tamil Nadu.
Greater Chennai Corporation has already increased the number of testing from 22,000 on Monday to 30,000 from yesterday onwards taking into consideration the hike in fresh cases. Chennai has contributed to more than 50 per cent of the fresh cases. Perambur MLA, M. Prabhakaran and Aranthangi MLA, S.T. Ramachandran tested positive for Covid-19 and are under treatment.
On the status of Omicron variant, the bulletin said total cases remained at 121 with 105 people being discharged, leaving 13 active cases.Three cases were cross-notified to Kerala, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, it added.
“Omicron has a significant growth advantage over Delta, spreading fast through communities with a doubling time of just two days,” health secretary J Radhakrishnan said on Tuesday.
The risk of transmission among close contacts, including family members, is much higher compared to all other variants.
“The overall risk related to the new variant is very high. Hospitalisation of the vaccinated is close to 1%, while it is 10% among those who are unvaccinated,” he said.