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BENGALURU : Four districts in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, will be under intense lockdown for 12 days, starting 19 June, to contain the spread of covid-19, chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Monday. The other districts are Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu.

“...Considering the spread of the virus and based on recommendations of health and medical experts, an intense lockdown will be in force from 00.00 hours on 19 June and midnight of 30 June," the Tamil Nadu government said in a statement.

These four districts account for almost 39,000 out of the more than 46,500 cases recorded so far in the state, according to government data.

With several cities, including New Delhi and Mumbai, witnessing a sharp rise in covid-19 cases, respective local administrations may be forced to reinforce lockdown restrictions, which may add to the confusion and chaos.

However, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal cleared the air in a Twitter post on Monday: “Many people are speculating whether another lockdown in Delhi is being planned. There are no such plans."

Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, too, allayed fears saying, if anything, the government will ask the Centre to relax more restrictions.

However, Tamil Nadu had to reinforce lockdown measures weeks after it had eased certain restrictions.

In its seven-page guidelines, the state government detailed the nature of activities that will be allowed, but mandated certain restrictions to avoid people’s movement in the wake of a sharp rise in cases in the southern state.

Tamil Nadu, especially its capital Chennai, has consistently seen a surge in covid-19 positive cases, which has revived fears of the pandemic spreading far and wide.

The chief minister said that 1,000 monetary support will be given to all ration card holders in areas under intense lockdown.

People will be allowed to move only for emergencies with an e-pass, while construction and other activities will be allowed in situ, he said.

Ration shops will be allowed to function from 8am to 2pm, while grocery, provisions and petrol pumps, will be open from 6am to 2pm.

The government said that people can only walk to buy essential provisions within a radius of 2 km from their houses. Hotels will remain open only for takeaway orders.

All state and central government offices will operate with 33% strength and those living in containment zones will not be expected to be at work, the government added.

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