The 12-day complete lockdown in Tamil Nadu’s capital city Chennai and three neighbouring districts-Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur-began on Friday morning with deserted roads and shops closed.
With increasing coronavirus infection in Chennai and three other districts, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on June 15 announced lockdown between June 19-30 subject to some relaxations to essential/emergency services.
Barring grocery, medical, vegetable shops all other outlets were closed. Hotels/restaurants were allowed to sell only packed food and dine-in was not allowed.
The government has ordered closure of meat stalls for the next 12 days to prevent the virus from spreading.
Ahead of lockdown a good number of people living in the city suburbs decided to pack their bags and go to their native towns to escape the lockdown mainly due to economic reasons.
Heavy traffic was seen on the roads leading out of Chennai and the toll gates clogged with vehicles on Thursday.
Small families – husband, wife and a child – were seen on two wheelers with important belongings packed in bags on way to their native towns.
While some are leaving owing to economic reasons like lack of work during the next 12 days, some others are going back to their native as a measure to escape from coronavirus infection.
The government has allowed ration shops to function from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., but those in containment zones will remain closed and doorstep delivery of items will be made.
Vegetable, grocery, petrol outlets will function between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., while mobile vegetable, fruits shops will be allowed between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Hotels and restaurants are allowed only parcel sales between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Online players are allowed to accept orders and make doorstep deliveries.