Tamil Nadu announces 'total lockdown' from May 10 to 24 to beat COVID-19

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said the lockdown decision was taken based on inputs received at a review meeting with district collectors.

With Tamil Nadu witnessing a sharp increase in the COVID-19 cases, the government on Saturday announced clamping a two-week "total lockdown" across the state to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Chief Minister M K Stalin said in a statement that the lockdown was being enforced due to "unavoidable reasons" and pointed out that the decision was taken based on inputs received at a review meeting he had with district collectors on Friday, besides consultations with medical experts.

"The total lockdown will be enforced from 4 am on May 10 to 4 am on May 24," he said.

Tamil Nadu saw 26,465 new coronavirus cases on Friday, pushing the caseload to 13.23 lakh while a record 197 deaths in the last 24 hours took the toll to 15,171.

According to the health department, the active cases stood at 1,35,355.

This development comes in a day after Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa announced lockdown-like restrictions with more stringent curbs from May 10 to May 24 due to alarming rise in COVID-19 cases.

Prior to this,  there was already a curfew in place in Karnataka from April 27, which was to end on May 12.

Deadly second wave

The increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the second wave has been adding pressure on the already overworked healthcare sector. With the scarcity of hospital bed availability, oxygen, medicines, for coronavirus care, it is important for people to take precautions, stay home and work towards breaking the infection chain.

Amid state governments working to curb the spread of the pandemic, the public and private sector is coming together to help India get access to aid.

The Department of Posts on Friday announced it has launched a helpline to facilitate speedy delivery of COVID-19-related emergency shipments, including oxygen concentrators, equipment, medicines, etc., in collaboration with the Customs authorities.

Apart from this, most recently, Swasth Digital Health Foundation, along with ACT Grants, a social change movement of the Indian startup ecosystem announced that it is procuring 50,000 oxygen concentrators (OC) and other medical supplies to aid the fight against COVID-19. 

[Additional information has been added for more context]