Madurai

Coronavirus | Major shops closed in districts on first day of complete lockdown

Keelavasal in Madurai wears a deserted look on Monday.   | Photo Credit: G. MOORTHY

All major shops and commercial establishments, except individual shops selling groceries, fruits and vegetables, were closed across the district on Monday, the first day of the 14-day complete lockdown imposed by the State government to contain spread of COVID-19.

As per government rules, only individual shops selling groceries, vegetables and meat were allowed to operate until noon.

With the fortnight-long lockdown in place, the city roads saw lesser traffic. However, residents could be seen travelling on their own vehicles.

A traffic police posted near Vilakkuthoon said many residents travelled in their own vehicles saying they needed to reach hospitals or for other medical emergencies. “Unlike the complete lockdown imposed last year, we have been instructed not to be very strict in restricting the movement of residents,” said the officer.

Pharmacies and other medical-related operations were allowed to function.

With non-operation of buses, many conservancy workers and domestic breeding checkers of Madurai Corporation had to travel in their own vehicles to reach their workplace. “In Chennai, exclusive buses have been arranged for conservancy workers. It would be nice if such arrangements are made for conservancy workers in Madurai,” said K.P. Thangavel, a conservancy worker.

Collector T. Anbalagan said the complete lockdown would curtail the movement of residents and, thereby, help to reduce the incidence of new COVID-19 cases. “With aggressive testing through fever camps, we can identify more number of positive patients and begin their treatment at the earliest.”

Other districts

Arterial roads, key junctions and bus stands in Theni and Dindigul wore a deserted look after 1 p.m.

Grocery shops, meat stalls and tea shops were allowed to operate till noon. People thronged the shops to buy essential commodities. Street vendors who continued to operate beyond the noon deadline were asked to close their business for the day.

Police personnel were seen making announcements at key junctions urging people to abide by COVID-19 protocols and to follow the lockdown order. Despite the announcements, a few vehicles continued to ply on the roads.

Medical stores and other essential services were allowed to function in both districts. Emergency service vehicles were also allowed to ply on the roads. Restaurants were allowed to operate for a limited period, but only for parcel services.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 3:13:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/major-shops-closed-on-first-day-of-complete-lockdown/article34528117.ece

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