When the lockdown was announced, Tamil Nadu had just 26 cases of Covid-19, and it seemed like it would use the three weeks to contain the spread and isolate all cases. By the time the first extension was announced, cases had begun growing slowly.
And now, the number of coronavirus affected persons in the State has crossed 8,000, prompting the media to ask the question; “Has TN government taken wrong direction in its fight against coronavirus?”
On May 10, Tamil Nadu overtook Delhi to become the state with the third-highest number of cases, just behind Gujarat, and there is no sign yet of the spike stabilising.
Though Tamil Nadu refrained from testing aggressively in the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, with only a few hundred persons being tested every day until mid-April, the State has now considerably ramped up testing.
In the last one week, over 10,000 persons have been tested every day, on an average. Tamil Nadu, which is among the top seven States that account for more than 80% of the cases in the country, is testing at a significantly higher rate than other States.
Making economic revival be the top-most priority while recovering from Covid-19 pandemic, the Tamil Nadu government has released a list of standalone outlets that are allowed to reopen from today. According to the rules, only small and non-air conditioned jewellery and textile showrooms located in rural areas are permitted to open.
In Chennai, standalone and neighbourhood shops can be opened from 10.30 am till 6 pm as against the earlier cut off time of 5 pm. The state government has listed 34 kinds of businesses that are allowed to operate in non-containment zones with conditions like social distancing.