Allowing the state-run Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) liquor shops to reopen in the state on Thursday, the Madras High Court dismissed a PIL which was challenging the state government's decision. The high court has insisted that social distancing norms should be followed in every TASMAC shop. Tamil Nadu government has allowed the reopening of TASMAC shops across the state except in Chennai, Chengalpet, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts, apart from containment areas.
On May 4, the government announced that the state will reopen TASMAC liquor shops across the state after neighbouring states like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh too opened liquor shops. While long queues were observed across the state often flouting social distancing norms, most state governments have levied extra VAT or Cess on liquor, to boost state income. DMK chief MK Stalin has slammed the CM E Palaniswamy's decision, while the state government has announced a maximum hike of Rs. 20 on TASMAC liquor. The Madras High Court has also allowed online payment for liquor but has set a limit that one person will get only two bottles maximum at a time and one can buy only twice a week with a gap of 3 days, to presumably crack down on black marketing.
Tamil Nadu has seen 771 new cases in the past 24 hours - the highest single-day jump, with two fatalities. The state's current tally is at 3275 cases, with 1516 recovered and 35 deaths. The main reason for the rise in Tamil Nadu's tally is due to the Koyembedu market which has reported 300 cases and reportedly affected other areas outside Chennai like Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram. The market has been closed now and declared a containment zone, shifting produce to the Thirumazhisai complex.
According to Covid19India, Tamil Nadu has seen a drastic reduction in its rate of infection since April 1 - currently at 3.6%. Moreover, this has happened inspite of Tamil Nadu amping up its testing rate 7 times. There are a total of 52 functioning COVID -19 testing facilities in Tamil Nadu which includes 36 government and 16 private facilities.