Tamil Nadu, COVID-19: The Madras High Court last week ordered the state government to shut liquor shops over violation of its guidelines, but allowed it to sell online
Coronavirus: Tamil Nadu has announced major relaxation in lockdown in non-containment areas
Chennai: Tamil Nadu has become the third worst coronavirus-hit state in the country, surpassing Delhi after reporting over 7,200 cases. Maharashtra, with over 20,200 cases and at least 779 deaths tops the list, followed by Gujarat with around 7,800 cases. The national capital, with nearly 7,000 cases, has slipped to the fourth spot.
The bulk of cases were reported from Chennai, where the vegetable and fruit wholesale market at Koyembedu was declared a hotspot. More than 1,500 positive cases were found to be linked to the market.
Of the total cases in Tamil Nadu, 1,824 patients have recovered and 44 have died.
Tamil Nadu has announced major relaxation in lockdown in non-containment areas. While across the state, private offices and tea shops will be allowed to open, the big change will be for Chennai, where strict lockdown was imposed on May 1. Coimbatore and Madurai were also placed under similar restrictions as the number of coronavirus cases in the state shot up.
Shops selling essential items, fruits and vegetables will now be open in the state capital from 6 am to 7 pm. Standalone and neigbourhood shops can remain open between 10.30 am and 6 pm. Private establishments in the city can work with 33 per cent work force between 10.30 am and 6 pm.
Outside Chennai, shops selling essential items, grocery, fruits and vegetables can keep similar timings — 6 am to 7 pm. Standalone and neigbourhood shops can open at 10 am and carry on till 6 pm.
The Tamil Nadu government has been criticised by the opposition for opening standalone liquor shops in low-risk areas, after social media videos showed widespread violation of the social distancing rules.
The Madras High Court last week ordered the state government to shut liquor shops over violation of its guidelines, but allowed it to sell online.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday reiterated that the city has to “learn to live with COVID-19”, implying it is ready to be opened.