Complete lockdown in Chennai: Deserted roads, active police with stringent rules
Friday started with Chennai going under complete lockdown in an attempt to curb the rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the state of Tamil Nadu.
On Monday Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced complete lockdown in four districts – Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur from June 19 to June 30. The decision was taken to control the spread of Covis-19 infection in the state witnessing rapid rise in positive cases recently.
Chennai Police intensified the security measures with 288 vehicle checkpoints installed in Chennai’s arterial roads to restrict the movement. Traffic was closed on Anna Salai, few other roads and majority of the bridges in city. Deserted roads adorned in the morning hours of Friday with just the movement of essential services vehicles and medical staff.
Police officers from federal and traffic collaboratively were keeping a check on vehicle movement at the checkpoints in city and at the borders. Vehicles were permitted only after checking the freshly issued e-passes. Many vehicles were seized which were out with no valid reason.
Chennai City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan later launched drone cameras to monitor movement in and around Anna Salai. Mr. Viswanathan appealed to the public to cooperate implementing the complete lockdown. He said, “The lockdown will be implemented strictly. People are requested not to leave their homes without a valid reason. They should not use vehicles to buy essentials or travel long distances. The vehicles of violators will be seized. Already, our personnel have begun to seize the vehicles.”
A strict timeline of 7 am to 2 pm has been issued for the shopkeepers to open the shops and the owners and shoppers are instructed to strictly adhere to social distancing protocol while wearing mask and gloves. Shop owners are further instructed to keep hand sanitizers available and not to use air conditioners.
Autos and taxis would only be allowed to ferry passengers for medical reasons or from railway stations and airports.
Government and police officials have said that the lockdown would be implemented strictly with violators would be punished. Tamil Nadu has reported over 2000 positive cases of COVID-19 for second consecutive day with total reported cases of 52,334. The recovery rate of state stands at 54% while the mortality rate is at 1.2%. Chennai accounts for the maximum cases in state with 37,070 cases.