The Hindu – National
The Hindu Net Desk
The dreaded Coronavirus has cast its shadow on two religious events, namely the Rath Yatra And Haj Pilgirmage 2020. Indian Muslims will not be able to take the Haj pilgrimage as Saudi Arabia has decided to bar foreigners to take part in the event.
While the Supreme Court allowed the Jagannath Rath Yatra to be conducted, only 1,500 people including priests and policemen will be allowed to take part in it.
Here are the latest updates:
5:20 p.m. | New Delhi
17 employees of security agency deployed at Maruti’s Manesar plant go missing after testing positive for COVID-19
Seventeen employees of a security agency employed at Maruti Suzuki India’s (MSI) Manesar (Haryana) plant have disappeared after testing positive for COVID-19.
The employees, who belong to security agency SIS India, had tested positive for the infectious disease on June 17 and were supposed to be quarantined as per the law.
5:05 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh
Shravasti District Courts complex sealed as doctor contracts coronavirus
The Shravasti District Courts complex was sealed and declared a containment zone after a doctor deputed there on screening duty tested positive for coronavirus.
District Judge incharge of Shravasti, Shiv Kumar Singh, said the courts complex will remain closed till further orders and all necessary work will be carried out from home.
5:00 p.m. | Karnataka
Karnataka govt announces cap on COVID-19 treatment rates for private hospitals
The Karnataka government on Tuesday announced a cap on coronavirus treatment package rates in private hospitals for those referred by public health facilities in the range of ₹5,200 to ₹10,000.
The rate for patients who approach private hospitals directly will be in the range of ₹10,000 to ₹25,000.
State Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar issued the order based on recommendation of a committee headed by executive director of Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust formed to submit a proposal for fixing the packages rates for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
4:55 p.m. | Karnataka
COVID-19 fatalities in Karnataka far less compared to other major states: CM
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday said COVID-19 related fatalities in the state was far less compared to other major states, as he called on people and front line corona warriors infected by the virus not to lose courage.
The Chief Minister made the statement following the alleged suicide of a constable attached with the Karnataka State Reserve Police after he tested positive for COVID-19.
4:45 p.m. | New Delhi
51% decline in average weekly claims under Ayushman Bharat scheme during COVID-19 lockdown: Report
There was a 51% decline in the average weekly claims under the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, according to an analysis done by a group of researchers.
Also, there was a steeper decline in utilisation of services in public hospitals than private hospitals during the lockdown, from March 25 to June 2, stated the National Health Authority (NHA) publication titled ’PM-JAY Under Lockdown: Evidence on Utilization Trends PM-JAY’
4:35 p.m. | Haridwar/ New Delhi
Ramdev’s Patanjali claims to have COVID-19 medicine, 100% recovery in 7 days
Yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali on Tuesday launched what he claimed was the first ayurvedic medicine to cure coronavirus disease even as the scientific community the world over struggles to develop an effective cure for the highly contagious disease.
Patanjali claimed ‘Coronil’ and ‘Swasari’ had shown 100 per cent favourable results during clinical trials on affected patients, at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar.
4:30 p.m. | New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal writes to Amit Shah seeking doctors and nurses from ITBP, Army to run 10,000-bed COVID facility
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, demanding doctors and nurses from the ITBP and the Army to run a 10,000-bed COVID-19 care facility being set up in south Delhi, sources said.
They said the chief minister has also invited Mr. Shah to visit the facility being set up on the sprawling campus of spiritual organisation Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB).
Mr. Kejriwal has sought doctors and nurses from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Army to run the centre, the sources said.
India has one COVID-19 death per lakh population, says Union Health Ministry
As against the global average of 6.04, India has one COVID-19 death per lakh population which is one of the lowest in the world, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday, and credited timely detection of cases, extensive contact tracing and effective clinical management for the low mortality rate.
Till date, 14,011 people have died in India due to the viral infection with 312 fatalities reported in 24 hours till Tuesday 8 a.m., while 14,933 new instances of the disease took the total caseload to 4,40,215.
4:20 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh
Set up coronavirus coronavirus help desks in govt offices: UP CM to officials
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday directed officials to set up coronavirus help desks in all police stations, hospitals and government offices across the state.
He said help desks should also be set up in jails and revenue courts. According to an official release, the chief minister told officials at a meeting that these should be equipped with pulse oximeters, infrared thermometer and sanitisers.
4:15 p.m. | Tamil Nadu
New quarantine plan will help cut virus spread in Chennai, 7,000 plus beds added: Civic body
A new quarantine strategy confining to homes an estimated 7-8 lakh people is expected to cut down chances of transmission of the coronavirus in the metropolis, witnessing unabated spike in cases on a daily basis, according to a top official of the city civic body.
Apart from the containment measures, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) was also ramping up capacity of the Covid Care centres, adding over 7,000 beds, its Commissioner G. Prakash said.
4:10 p.m. | New Delhi
Priyanka slams UP govt over high COVID-19 mortality rate in Agra
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday attacked the Uttar Pradesh government over the high COVID-19 mortality rate in Agra, saying Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should clarify within 48 hours who was responsible for “pushing people into these adverse circumstances“.
Tagging a media report, Priyanka Gandhi said the novel coronavirus death rate in Agra was 6.8%, which was higher than Delhi and Mumbai.
4:00 p.m. | Guwahati
Lockdown in 11 wards of Guwahati from 9 p.m. today
From 9 p.m. today, lockdown measures would be implemented in 11 wards of Guwahati. Essential services will remain functional. Shops dealing in groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk products, animal fodder to be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Delivery of essential goods lile food, pahrmaceuticals and medicl euipment will be allowed via e-commerce websites.
3:40 p.m. | Agra
Withdraw claim about virus deaths in 24 hours, Agra administration to Priyanka Gandhi
Terming it “misleading and false”, the Agra administration has asked Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to withdraw the claim regarding coronavirus deaths in the district within 24 hours.
Tagging a media report, the Congress leader had on Monday tweeted that 28 coronavirus patients died within 48 hours of hospitalisation in Agra.
She had described it as a matter of shame for the Uttar Pradesh government, accusing it of suppressing the truth.
In an e-mail to the Congress leader on Monday, Agra District Magistrate Prabhu Narain Singh told her to take back the claim within 24 hours, saying the allegations are baseless and misleading.
3:30 p.m. | Maharashtra
Maharashtra Governor donates ₹1 lakh to postal staff for COVID-19 treatment
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday donated ₹1 lakh for the treatment of postal staff infected by coronavirus, an official here said.
As per an official release, the amount includes a prize money won by the Governor in the Department of Posts’ letter writing competition apart from personal contribution.
“Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today made a personal donation of ₹1 lakh to the Maharashtra Post for the treatment of postal staff infected by COVID-19,” the release stated.
3:20 p.m. | New Delhi
Manish Sisodia urges L-G to go back to old system on home quarantine
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said he has written a letter to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and urged him to end a new system under which people who test coronavirus positive will have to visit a COVID-19 Care Centre to get examined.
“I have written a letter to L-G sir to implement the earlier system in Delhi, in which, if a person is tested corona positive, then a government’s medical team visits him and if he does not have any symptom then he will be home quarantined, if any symptoms, then shifted to a hospital and if his house is not appropriate, then move him to a quarantine centre,” Mr. Sisodia said while addressing a video briefing.
— Saira Aslam
3:05 p.m. | Karnataka
Health Minister hints at lockdown imposition in Bengaluru again
In the wake of continued surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, Health Minister B. Sriramulu on Tuesday said lockdown norms may have to be imposed again in the city if the same situation continues.
Speaking to reporters after visiting K.C. General hospital in the city, the Minister said four wards in the city had already been sealed down totally. “The number of cases in the city are on the rise in the last few days. If the same situation continues, we will have to go in for another lockdown in the city,” he said.
— Afshan Yasmeen
3:00 p.m. | New Delhi
COVID-19: Over 100 pvt, not-for-profit entities join hands to launch tele-health network
More than 100 private and not-for-profit entities have come together to launch a tele-medicine platform ‘Swasth’ to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“The mobile app-based service leverages India’s technology prowess to deliver equal and affordable healthcare to 1.3 billion people, cutting across geographical and income divides,” Swasth said in a statement.
2:55 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh
Man dies in govt. hospital isolation ward in Uttar Pradesh, family alleges negligence
A middle-aged man admitted in the isolation ward of a government hospital in neighbouring Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh has died, with his family alleging negligence on the part of doctors.
According to officials, the man, who drives a taxi, was admitted to the hospital with cough and cold. He died on Monday.
His wife has alleged that doctors did not attend to him and he died without any treatment.
2:50 p.m. | New Delhi
Law Ministry tweaks rule to allow use of postal ballot for those suffering from COVID-19
Voters in Bihar who test positive for COVID-19 will be allowed to cast their vote using postal ballot in the state assembly polls due later this year.
The Legislative Department in the Union Law Ministry has changed the Conduct of Election Rules to allow those suffering from COVID-19 to use postal ballot, a top ministry functionary said on Tuesday.
2:20 p.m. | Karnataka
Elderly people account for 78.87% of COVID-19 deaths in Karnataka: Minister
Over three fourths of COVID-19 deaths in Karnataka were in the above 50 age group and people should take special care of their elderly relatives at home, state Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said on Tuesday.
“Elderly are most vulnerable to #COVID19. 16.24% of total positive cases in Karnataka are of people above 50. But people above 50 constitute 78.87 per cent of total Covid deaths. I urge people to take special care of their elderly at home & ensure they stay home & stay safe,” Mr. Sudhakar tweeted.
2:10 pm. | Haryana
Haryana to fix cost of COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals: Health Minister Vij
The Haryana government will soon issue an order fixing the cost of COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals, Health Minister Anil Vij said on Tuesday.
Mr. Vij said that he had discussed the modalities with senior officials of his department and a formal order would be issued soon.
“For private hospitals, we are going to fix the rates. I have discussed this with my officials and orders will be issued soon,” Mr. Vij told PTI over phone.
2:05 p.m. | Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh opposition leader tests positive for coronavirus
Leader of Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly and Samajwadi Party leader, Ram Govind Chaudhary, has tested positive for coronavirus, an official said on Tuesday.
Mr. Chaudhary was suffering from fever and cold and was admitted to a private hospital in Lucknow on Monday where his sample was taken for testing, Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Anand Prakash Joshi, said.
2:00 p.m. | New Delhi
Alleged ISIS operative claims developing COVID-19 symptoms, seeks treatment in Tihar
A man, arrested for allegedly conspiring to commit terror activities and further the ISIS ideology in the country, on Tuesday moved a Delhi court seeking proper medical treatment, claiming that he has developed symptoms of COVID-19.
The application on behalf of Asif Ali submitted that 18 jail inmates have developed symptoms like cough, cold and fever.
The plea, moved by advocate M.S. Khan on behalf of Asif Ali, urged the court to direct Tihar Jail authorities to provide him proper medical treatment or send him to a hospital.
1:55 p.m. | Tamil Nadu
200 Indian evacuees from Maldives arrive in Tamil Nadu
As many as 200 stranded Indian nationals were repatriated by the Indian Navy from Maldives as part of the Samudra Setu mission of the Government of India.
Indian Navy Ship Airavat arrived here from Maldives with 200 Indian nationals at the VOC Port this morning, officials said.
As many as 64 people who arrived today hailed from Kanyakumari district while the rest were from many other districts, they said.
1:50 p.m. | Indore
54 new COVID-19 cases in Indore, district tally rises to 4,427
Fifty four more people have tested positive for coronavirus in Indore, taking the number of such cases in the Madhya Pradesh district to 4,427, a health official said on Tuesday.
As many as 1,588 samples were tested in the district in the last 24 hours, out of which reports of 54 came out positive, Indores Chief Medical and Health Officer Pravin Jadia said.
So far, 203 people have died of COVID-19 in the state’s worst affected district, he said.
1:40 p.m. | Thane
Maharashtra: COVID-19 facility comes up at college campus in Thane
Considering the rise in COVID-19 cases, the civic body in Maharashtra’s Thane city has set up a 700-bed facility at a campus of an educational institute, an official said on Tuesday.
The Thane Municipal Corporation has converted 70 classrooms in seven buildings of Vidya Prasarak Mandal (VPM) for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the city, the official said.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has opposed the move and warned the TMC against setting up COVID-19 hospitals in educational institutions.
1:30 p.m. | New Delhi
Every new COVID-19 patient is worried about standing in queue at quarantine centres for examination: Manish Sisodia
“Today I saw a lot of reports in media that COVID patients are confused. It is a challenge to take patients to COVID Care Centre… people are concerned about SoP for home isolation… All these things indicate that in Delhi, people are confused about procedures before home quarantine,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia while addressing a video briefing.
“According to new policy by the L-G sir, every corona patient will have to now go to quarantine centre and he will be examined. If the person can be home isolated then he will be sent by back home and if he has symptoms then the person will be admitted in quarantine centre,” stated Mr. Sisodia.
“Because of this, the major problem people face is that, as soon as a person is found COVID positive, he will have to go to quarantine centre, else police or officials we call the person. People are worried that police and officials will take them,” he added.
“First they ended home isolation and now this and people are worried about this. Every new COVID patient is worried that he will have to stand in line at quarantine centre and get examined, ” he claimed.
“Why should he go? How will he go? Is the government helping him or increasing his difficulty?”
— Nikhil M. Babu
1:25 p.m. | New Delhi
Lt. Governor’s 5-day mandatory quarantine order done away with: AAP govt to Delhi HC
The AAP government on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that the Lieutenant Governor’s order on mandatory five-day institutional quarantine for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients has been replaced, which makes the PIL challenging it infructuous.
Taking note of the submission, a bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said the grievances raised in the plea have been brought to an end by the latest Delhi government order of June 20 which replaced the L-G’s June 19 direction for mandatory five-day institutional quarantine for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.
1:15 p.m. | New Delhi
Coronavirus | Indian pilgrims will not travel to Saudi Arabia for Haj 2020, says Naqvi
The government has decided that Muslims from India will not travel to Saudi Arabia for Haj 2020 after the kingdom conveyed that pilgrims should not be sent this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday.
The decision was taken after Saudi Arabia’s Haj and Umrah minister Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten telephoned last night and suggested not to send pilgrims from India for Haj this year, Mr. Naqvi told reporters.
Mr. Naqvi said 2,13,000 applications had been received for Haj 2020 and the process to refund the full amount of money deposited by the applicants without any deduction has been started immediately.
1:05 p.m. | New Delhi
Govt says 1,340 Made in India ventilators delivered to states
Nearly 3,000 of the 50,000 ‘Made in India’ ventilators sanctioned under the PM CARES fund to help COVID-19 patients have been manufactured and over 1,300 have been delivered to various states, an official statement said on Tuesday.
On May 14, the PM CARES Fund Trust had decided to allocate Rs 3,100 crore for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the amount was to be used, among other things, to purchase ventilators and caring for migrant workers.
1:00 p.m. | Puri
Ahead of Rath Yatra, Puri temple servitor tests COVID-19 positive
One of the servitors of Shree Jagannath Temple tested positive for COVID-19 during mandatory testing of priests and police personnel ahead of the annual Rath Yatra on Tuesday.
He will not be part of any ritual related to the Rath Yatra and has been shifted to a COVID-19 hospital, an official said adding that contact tracing has been initiated.
Odisha government on Monday tested as many as 1,143 servitors who will be pulling the chariot.
12:50 p.m. | Lucknow
Mayawati demands high-level probe into Kanpur shelter home case
BSP president Mayawati on Tuesday said the developments at a state-run shelter home in Kanpur have once again showed the “indifferent attitude” of the Uttar Pradesh government towards protection of women as she demanded a fair probe and action against errant officials.
Fifty-seven girls living in the shelter home, five of them pregnant, tested positive for the coronavirus over the last week.
12.30 pm | Bengaluru
Minister’s wife and daughter test positive
A day after his cook and father were confirmed to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, Karnataka Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar’s wife and daughter have also tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
However, the samples of the Minister and his two sons have returned negative.
“Test results of our family members have come. Unfortunately, my wife and daughter have tested positive for #Covid19 and are undergoing treatment in a designated hospital. My two sons and myself have tested negative. I am grateful to everyone for their best wishes and prayers,” Mr Sudhakar tweeted.
– Afshan Yasmeen
Vande Bharat mission: U.S. may bar Air India from operating charter flights
In a setback to the government’s Vande Bharat mission, the United States is likely to bar Air India from operating charter flights for allegedly violating a bilateral agreement by denying one its airlines permission to conduct repatriation charters from India.
The U.S. government’s Department of Transport (DoT) has said that the manner in which Air India is conducting operations under the guise of charter flights creates a “competitive disadvantage” for U.S. airlines.
20 train passengers quarantined after man gets message he is COVID-19 positive during journey
Over 20 passengers of the Dehradun Jan Shatabdi Express have been quarantined after a co-passenger received a text message, while still on board the train on Sunday, that his COVID-19 test has come positive, officials said.
The man immediately informed COVID control room authorities that he had tested positive, scaring his co-passengers who overheard him saying this on phone, they said.
After 300 cases, fresh curbs on Surat diamond units
Nearly 300 workers of diamond units in Gujarat’s Surat city have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the past 10 days, following which fresh restrictions have been imposed on the industry’s operations, an official said on Monday.
Visa-holders can return to Dubai from July 7
In a major relief to thousands of NRIs stuck in India following travel restrictions imposed after COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai has granted permission to visa-holders to return by pre-booking flights of any airline.
However, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that resumption of international flights will be allowed only when domestic traffic reaches about 50-60% and other countries are open to international traffic. “Once the situation evolves thus, we will consider a calibrated opening,” Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, tweeted.
10.30 am | Andhra Pradesh
S. Kota MLA tests positive
MLA from Sringavarapukota of Vizianagaram district Kadubandi Srinivasa Rao tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. Mr. Rao is the first MLA in Andhra Pradesh to have tested positive for the virus.
Mr. Rao who got elected on YSRCP ticket in 2019, recently returned from the U.S. and underwent tests thrice as part of the safety precautions. The earlier two tests were negative, but the results of the last test conducted at the Vizianagaram Government Hospital was positive, causing tension among his family members and friends.
10.00 am | Kerala
Tight restrictions come into effect in Thiruvananthapuram
The mounting number of COVID-19 cases, including those without known sources of infection, has prompted the State government to reinforce restrictions and clamp down on widespread violations in the district. Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, who convened a meeting of MLAs in the district and senior officials on Monday, said that demonstrations having more than 10 protesters would no longer be permitted during the prevailing crisis.
Around 30 personnel of the SAP camp, Peroorkada, have reportedly been advised to go in quarantine after a policeman attached to the camp was admitted to the General Hospital with fever and vomiting. All of them reportedly attended a training course at the camp. The COVID-19 test results of the hospitalised policeman is awaited.
Every family in A.P. will be tested within 90 days: Jagan Mohan Reddy
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday said every family in the State would be tested for COVID-19 in the next 90 days.
Mr. Jagan, at a review meeting on COVID-19, asked Medical and Health Department officials to ramp up testing and said a massive awareness campaign should be launched to encourage people to get themselves tested voluntarily at the nearest health centre. Each village/ward secretariat and health centres where testing facilities are available should have a hoarding displaying details of the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
A wider net: non-profit helps disabled upskill during the lockdown
Web Interface Study Environment (WISE), an online training and placement programme conducted by Youth4Jobs (Y4J) Foundation, a pan-India organisation that trains youth with disabilities and links them to organised sector jobs in the cities.
“We launched Youth4Jobs Online as a COVID-19 response, across India,” says Meera Shenoy, founder and CEO, Youth4Jobs. “At a time when every skilling organisation had halted operations, we were the only ones who launched a programme in the disability space; one of the few working at the bottom of the pyramid,” she says.
8.45 am | Karnataka
Shut down Bengaluru for 20 days: Kumaraswamy
Instead of sealing a few areas, the entire state capital should be shut down for 20 days in view of the rising COVID-19 cases, former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Tuesday. In a series of tweets, the JD(S) leader said sealing some areas would not serve any purpose and that weaker sections of the society should be taken care of immediately.
8.30 am | Assam
BJP MLA tests COVID-19 positive
Assam BJP MLA Krishendu Paul tested COVID-19 positive on Monday, an official said.
Paul, an MLA from the ruling party in the state, was tested during the ongoing Assam Targeted Surveillance Programme (ATSP) on Sunday and his report came as positive on Monday evening, Karimganj district Joint Director of Health A. Dattari said. The MLA, who represents Patharkandi in the state assembly, has been admitted to the Karimganj Civil Hospital’s COVID ward, he said.
Paul has no travel history and his home has been declared a containment zone by the district administration. All his family members have been quarantined and their samples have been taken for testing, he said.
8.00 am | Kerala
Agriculture Minister in self-quarantine
Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar has gone into self-quarantine after a health worker who attended a COVID-19 review convened by him in Thrissur on June 15 tested positive on Sunday.
He underwent a test on Monday, which returned negative. The Minister will continue to remain in quarantine for another 10 days, his office said.
7.30 am | New Delhi
COVID-19 figures over last week show things are stabilising, says Kejriwal
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said numbers related to COVID-19 cases in the Capital over the last week seemed to indicate that things were improving.
The Delhi government would provide pulse oximeters to patients recovering under home isolation. He said that every district will have oxygen concentrators in addition to a helpline and a team would visit the homes of recovering patients. Delhi has 25,000 active COVID-19 cases and around 12,000 people under home isolation, he said.
Delhi issues fresh rules for COVID-19 patients
The Delhi government on Monday issued new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for management of patients who have tested COVID-19 positive. There are separate SOPs for people who get tested by rapid antigen test, which gives result in 30 minutes, and RT-PCR test, which takes more time.
17 inmates test positive days after first COVID-19 death in Mandoli jail
As many as 17 of 29 inmates lodged in the barrack where one prisoner died of COVID-19 in Mandoli jail last week have tested positive for the infection, an official said on Monday.
Kanwar Singh, 62, who was lodged in Central Jail number 14, Mandoli, died in his sleep on June 15. His COVID-19 test came out positive on Saturday. The report prompted the jail authorities to conduct COVID-19 test on the 29 other inmates sharing the barrack with Singh, officials said.
After Chennai, Madurai’s turn for lockdown
Days after a complete lockdown was imposed in Chennai and parts of its surrounding districts, the State government has announced an intensified lockdown from June 24 to 30 in Madurai Corporation limits, Paravai town panchayat and village panchayats in Madurai East, Madurai West and Tirupparankundram blocks, in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the district. Only essential services like medical shops, pharmaceutical shops, hearse vehicle services and ambulances will be allowed to function.