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Tamil Nadu Announces Total Lockdown On Jan 16; Pongal Special Buses To Run At 75% Capacity

The Tamil Nadu government has extended lockdown restrictions till Jan 31, whilst announcing a complete lockdown on Jan 16, amid the rapid surge in COVID cases.

Tamil Nadu

Image: PTI, Representative

Amid the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Tamil Nadu government has extended lockdown restrictions till January 31, 2022, whilst also announcing a complete lockdown on January 16. People will not be allowed to visit any places of worship between January 14 and January 18, and special inter-district buses for Pongal will run at 75% capacity. 

The Tamil Nadu government on January 5, Wednesday, had announced a night curfew between 10 pm and 5 am from January 6, and a total lockdown on Sundays to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

List of COVID restrictions announced in the state

  • All existing restrictions will be in place till January 31. 
  • All places of worship will be shut from January 14 to 18.
  • Full lockdown on January 16 (Sunday)
  • 75% occupancy in public buses for people to travel to their native places for Pongal.

Existing COVID guidelines and restrictions in Tamil Nadu

  • Playschools and nursery schools will remain closed while students of classes 1 to 8 will not have physical classes.
  • Classes 9 to 12, colleges, and Polytechnic Institutions are allowed to conduct classes in line with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). 
  • All exhibitions and book fairs are directed to postpone their schedules.
  • Hotels, lodges, bakeries, guest houses, and dormitories can function at 50% capacity.
  • Wedding gatherings shall be permitted with guests not exceeding 100.
  • Metro rail is allowed to operate with 50% capacity.
  • Beauty parlours, salons, and spas are also allowed to function at 50% capacity. 
  • Multiplex, cinemas, theatres permitted to function with maximum 50% seating capacity.

The following "contacts" of RT-PCR positive COVID cases have been advised for testing:

  • All Symptomatic contacts. 
  • All contacts above 60 years regardless of symptoms or co-morbidity status. 
  • Special groups like Pregnant mothers, Immune-compromised individuals, differently-abled persons, etc., regardless of symptoms or co-morbidity. 
  • All other asymptomatic contacts not to be tested.  

Here are some other guidelines:

Patients in COVID Care Centre (CCC) or home isolation will stand discharged and end isolation after at least seven days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of sampling, if no temperature recorded for three consecutive days.

Re-testing is not needed for discharge from Home Isolation or CCC.

Hospitalised severe cases should be discharged after clinical recovery. 

Govt releases fresh guidelines for Jallikattu events

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday also released fresh guidelines for Jallikattu events, allowing only 300 bull tamers and 150 spectators ahead of the Pongal festival in mid-January. In addition, the state government made negative COVID results compulsory for all players, requiring them to be tested two days in advance. People have also been advised to avoid public gatherings and instead watch the event on television.

Image: PTI, Representative

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