On Monday, June 15, Tamil Nadu state authorities announced that a lockdown will be reimposed in Chennai and surrounding areas amid a recent spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The latest measure will be in effect from Friday, June 19, until Tuesday, June 30, and in addition to Chennai, will include the districts of Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, and Kanchipuram. During this period, only essential businesses will be permitted to continue operating including hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, and banks. Residents will only be allowed to buy essential goods from within a 2 km (1.2 mi) radius from their homes. People entering from other states or abroad during the lockdown will be subject to the same measures.
Additionally, on the Sundays of June 21 and 28, a full lockdown will be imposed in the aforementioned areas, which will prohibit the operation of all private and public vehicles with the exception of emergency use.
Of the 44,661 COVID-19 cases reported as of June 15 in Tamil Nadu state, Chennai remains the most affected area, accounting for more than 70 percent of all infections.
Previously, on Sunday, June 14, the Indian Health Ministry reported the highest 24-hour increase of positive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases to date. The latest increase brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide to 332,424 with 9520 associated deaths.
Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantine measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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