Ahead of festive season, TN govt allows more lockdown relaxations

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The relaxation is apparently against the caution sounded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against easing precautions against COVID-19

In spite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to the people to keep up security precautions against COVID-19 ahead of the festive season, the Tamil Nadu government has announced more relaxations in the lockdown restrictions for people to celebrate the festivals.

The relaxations were announced by Chief Minister K Palaniswami after a review of the situation in the state with ministers and senior officers at the secretariat on Wednesday, October 21. A major relaxation is one hour extension for shops from lock down restrictions.

This will help all vegetable and grocery shops, hotels, restaurants and tea stalls to remain open till 10 pm across the state, except in containment zones. While announcing lockdown relaxations from October 1, he had announced that these shops could function till 9 pm from the earlier 8 pm.

Palaniswami said that the decision was taken keeping in mind the upcoming festival season and the need to put the economy back on the growth path.

He said at a time when spread of the pandemic was coming down during the last few days, people were advised not to assemble in large number in shops and public places and to wear face masks, maintain six feet social distancing, wash their hands regularly to prevent the virus spread.

He pointed out that due to the strenuous efforts taken by the government, the COVID-19 spread was under control in the state and its recovery rate was the highest in the country and the fatalities lowest among states.

The Prime Minister had warned against easing of precautions in his Address to the Nation on Tuesday, October 20. He had reminded the people that the festive season was not the time to be careless as the novel coronavirus is still around and even a small negligence can dampen the festive spirit.

The relaxations during festive season earlier saw a huge surge in Covid-19 cases in four states. The Ganesh Chaturthi celebration saw the covid case rising to 2.93 lakh in Andhra Pradesh, 3.7 lakh cases in Maharashtra and 62,000 cases in Telangana, according to The Print.

Similarly, Onam celebration in Kerala saw the cases rising by 65 percent. Union Health Minister Harshvardhan had blamed this surge to the relaxations, kicking off a controversy in the state (with inputs from UNI)

Image Credit: The Print

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