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Tamil Nadu announces fresh curbs amid spike in COVID cases

The state reported 1,155 new cases of coronavirus on Friday

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin | PTI Chief Minister M.K. Stalin | PTI

With Tamil Nadu witnessing a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, the state government, on Friday, imposed a number of restrictions, including putting a cap on attendees of marriage and death-related events and halving the number of customers in different types of commercial establishments.

Tamil Nadu reported 1,155 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, up from the 890 a day before.

While playschools and kindergarten sections cannot be run, there won't be any direct classes for Class I to VIII till January 10, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced after holding a review meet in Chennai to take stock of the coronavirus situation and the spread of its latest variant, Omicron.

"All exhibitions and book fairs are being postponed," he said in a statement.

Classes for standards IX to XII, colleges and ITIs will be held in compliance with Standard Operating Procedures while existing guidelines will apply for places of worship, he said.

Dine-in services at restaurants, hotels and bakeries should be restricted to 50 per cent of the capacity, while amusement parks can be operated only with a similar number of persons.

The 50 per cent cap will also apply to textile showrooms, jewellery shops, gyms and yoga centres, multiplex/cinema theatres (of the allowed seats), beauty spas and salons and indoor games, he said.

Metro rail services can operate only with 50 per cent seating capacity, while only seated passengers will be allowed in government bus services, the chief minister added.

Participants in weddings should be restricted to 100 while only 50 persons would be allowed in death-related events, he said.

Urging people to get vaccinated, the chief minister also stressed on other COVID-appropriate behaviour such as wearing face-mask.

All employees in commercial establishments should have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Further, action will be taken if mask wearing is not followed by establishments and customers.

As part of virus containment measures, ‘Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination-COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour’ will be strictly implemented, Stalin said.

Only essential services should be allowed in containment zones while door-to-door survey by committees in such areas will also be undertaken to prevent the spread of the contagion, he said.

Those violating pandemic containment measures will be fined, the CM warned.

He appealed to people to refrain from crowding during the coming festive season and stressed on social distancing and wearing of mask.

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