Tamil Nadu: Will lockdown be extended or not?

The four-day complete lockdown in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai, scheduled to end late today evening, would not be extended, according to highly placed sources.

After the ‘complete lockdown’, the respective District Collectors and the Commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation would implement the COVID-19 lockdown till May 3, as ordered earlier with certain conditions.

As the number of Covid-19 positive cases continued to soar in Tamil Nadu, the state government appeared in no hurry to completely lift the lockdown, top sources said.

On Monday, Edappadi K Palaniswami was not among the chief ministers, who spoke during the video conference with Prime Minister Narendran Modi. But, his government is understood to have decided to continue the lockdown, at least partially, notwithstanding the decision of the Union government.

The complete lockdown in the major urban centres of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai and Coimbatore, came into force on Sunday with groceries and vegetable shops also shutting down as civic bodies intensified disinfection work in their respective regions.

While police patrol vehicles and flying squads of civic bodies alone could be seen in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem and Tirupur, people in some localities in north Chennai loitered around and police warned them to stay indoors.

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday issued two orders — one suspending encashment of earned leave “initially” for one year and another freezing the Dearness Allowance (DA) at the current rate till July 2021 for its employees, teachers and pensioners.