Traffic policemen in Chennai (TOI photo)
Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu governments on Monday extended the lockdown till July 31 to stop the surge of Covid-19 cases — with stricter norms in the Mumbai and Chennai regions — while the Karnataka government indicated that it will bring back from July 7 harsher measures such as banning the entry and exit of people from high-risk districts like Bengaluru and shutting down parks and markets.
In a notification, the Maharashtra government restricted inter-district travel between municipal corporations within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) only for office purposes and essential activities like medical reasons. The order comes a day after Mumbai police announced restrictions on non-essential travel beyond 2 km of one’s residence. The notification also slashed the timings of non-essential shops by four hours, restricted their operations only between 9 am and 5 pm. However, there is no change in the timing of essential shops like groceries and pharmacies.
Officials said stricter norms were notified as there were too many people on the streets unnecessarily.
According to the new notification, the powers to implement a stricter lockdown have been delegated to the local administration in case they find that cases are on the rise in a particular area.
The Tamil Nadu government also extended curbs for a month across the state. In particular, Greater Chennai police limits, including parts of Chengalpet, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, will have an “intense lockdown” till July 5. Announcing this, CM Edappadi K Palaniswami said total lockdown will be enforced in the state on all Sundays.
The Karnataka government indicated that it will bring back harsher measures from July 7 to stop the spread of the pandemic. The curbs on the cards include restricted entry into districts where cases are on the rise, temporary closure of major public parks, wholesale markets and temples for at least two weeks to avoid congregation of people.
Meanwhile, with an eye on the rising Covid-19 graph in Bengal, CM Mamata Banerjee announced that no international flight will operate in the state till July 15.