In light of the lockdown, the Tamil Nadu government, led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniwami, on Thursday announced a number of austerity measures to reduce government expenditure across the state.
As per the measures, all expenditure in government offices is to be reduced by 20 per cent.
All government officials are henceforth not allowed to fly in business class. Expenditure on shawls and bouquets are to be completely stopped.
Expenditure on purchasing tables and chairs is to be reduced by 50 per cent, while feasts sponsored by the government are banned henceforth.
The order has also advised government departments to reduce their advertising expenditure by 25 per cent. Lastly, all foreign travels on government expenditure are banned.
Chennai Corporation selects field workers to prevent spread in slum areas
Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development and Implementation of Special Programme, S P Velumani, announced on Thursday that the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has selected 2,500 field workers to work alongside the civic body to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in slum areas under the jurisdiction of the GCC.
The field workers will track 300 homes from Saturday and advise residents on the importance of social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands with soap and water to maintain hygiene amid the pandemic. The field workers will also assist the elderly, pregnant women and people with diabetes with their medical needs.
Those who are found to be displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be taken to the nearest health facility for treatment and tests. The field workers will keep a track of the households affected by COVID-19 and provide the residents with masks, Kabasura Kudineer and nutrition tablets.
The volunteers have been advised to follow the necessary preventive measures while working. All 2,500 of them will be rewarded with incentives for their service, said Velumani.
Ticket counters in Chennai Central to open Friday
The Southern Railway announced on Thursday that reservation counters will be opened at the Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M G Ramachandran Chennai Central Station from Friday to facilitate booking for special trains scheduled to run from June 1. A minimum of two counters will be opened. All passengers should wear masks and maintain social distancing while making their bookings.
— @GMSouthernrailway (@GMSRailway) May 21, 2020
Thousands of migrant workers journey back home
Thousands of migrant workers who had been stranded in Tamil Nadu during the lockdown departed for their hometown on Thursday via eight Shramik Special Trains.
A fourth train between Jasidih and Kancheepuram departed from Kancheepuram station at 5.10 pm, while a fifth train bound for Balangir departed from Erode station at 5.30 pm.
A sixth train between Katpadi and Araiya departed from Katpadi Junction at 6 pm, while another train heading for Bihar Sharif departed from Coimbatore station at 7.30 pm.
An eighth train bound for Cooch Behar departed from Tirur station at night.
776 cases in state, 567 in Chennai
Tamil Nadu recorded 776 positive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the state total to 13,968. As of today, there are 7,588 active cases in the State.
Among the 776 positive cases, 567 cases were reported from capital Chennai, bringing the city’s total to 8,795. Tamil Nadu recorded seven deaths today, bringing the state toll to 94. All seven of them succumbed due to co-morbidities. Meanwhile, 400 patients were discharged following treatment today.
According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 3,73,352 samples from the state have been sent for testing till date
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