As the number of cases surge ahead in the state of Tamil Nadu, five major urban centres including the capital and two textile hubs will be shut down fully, as announced by the state government on Friday. However, supply of essential goods shall be permitted.
On Saturday, chaos was the rule of the day as many residents in these cities resorted to panic buying and customers were greeted by empty shelves across many departmental stores.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had on Friday announced that the state capital of Chennai, the IT and textiles hub of Coimbatore and the city of Temples Madurai will remain shut from 6 am on April 26 to 9 pm on April 29.
He also announced that the steel-producing hub of Salem and another textile hub Tiruppur (only the area falling within the Municipal limits) will be shut down from 6 am on April 26 to 9 pm on April 28.
During this period, all essential goods and services will only be permitted to stay open. Vegetable markets, Avin Milk stores, Hospitals and ambulances and ATM services shall remain open.
However, on Saturday, large scenes of hoarding were witnessed in these five cities and the state government was found to be absent as individuals resorted to panic buying.
Tamil Nadu presently has the most number of cases in Southern India. It has 1,821 cases, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.