Amid growing demand from the religious outfits in Tamil Nadu to open places of worship on all days, the state government has on Thursday okayed the demand by allowing all places of worship in the state to function on all days from November 1, three days ahead of the Diwali festival.
Chief Minister MK Stalin has poured major relaxations as the state has been in flawless fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic with reporting the signs of flattening the curve. Earlier, the state government had permitted various services including TASMAC liquor shops and theatres to function. However, it has imposed severe restrictions on the places of worship by citing the pandemic spread.
Despite the government affirming that it will decide on allowing the places of worship to function all days, the religious groups, mainly Hindutva outfits and Tamil Nadu BJP unit had organized a protest against the DMK government by demanding to allow the temples to function all days. After the episodes of protest, the government has on Thursday permitted the places of worship to function all days from November 1.
Earlier, these places were functioning only from Monday to Thursday while fully shut down during the weekend. Apart from allowing these places to function all days from November 1, the government has permitted all the commercial establishments, hotels, and eateries to function till 11 pm from Thursday (October 14) with existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
It has also allowed schools, including kindergarten schools and anganwadis to re-open with fully vaccinated staff and cooks, while private tuition centres can also open from November 1. Private events and exhibitions will be permitted from November 1 and the government will also hold grievance redressal camps at the district collectorates and the concerned authorities must ensure that the visitors had got fully vaccinated.
In the order, the government has said that up to 100 people will be permitted to attend a wedding and related events and up to 50 people will be allowed to attend funerals at a time. The beaches in Tamil Nadu will be opened on Sundays from November 1 and besides pouring major relaxations, the government didn't bring down the guard in some areas.
According to the order, the government has banned political, social, and cultural events and hasn't eased the restrictions imposed in the theatres across the state. As the state is heading towards the festive season, Chief Minister MK Stalin has appealed to the people to adhere to the guidelines and protocols towards ensuring that the season won't present any Covid-19 clusters and hotspots.
He had instructed the people to avoid unwanted gatherings, wear face masks at public places, observe physical distancing, and get vaccinated at the camps that are organized by the government. According to the state health department, Tamil Nadu has reported 1,280 fresh Covid-19 cases, 1,453 discharges, and 19 deaths on Wednesday. Overall, the state had recorded 26,82,137 cases so far as of Wednesday of which 15,650 are active, 26,30,654 have been discharged, and 35,833 had succumbed to the viral infection.