Puducherry, Aug 12 (PTI): Amid rising COVID-19 cases in the Union Territory of Puducherry, a total lockdown would be enforced every Tuesday to contain the spread of the virus.

This was announced by Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Wednesday when the Union Territory registered its highest single-day spurt of 481 coronavirus cases and five deaths.

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The total lockdown would come into force from next Tuesday and is being implemented on an experimental basis, he told a virtual press conference after chairing a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).

The lockdown would come into effectfrom 6 am on Tuesday to 6 am the next day. Also, he said all shops, business centres, banks and other establishments would remain closed in the entire Union Territory. He said the meeting of the SDMA decided that on other days, all shops, establishments and business centres can remain open only from 6 am to 7 pm from August 14. All along they were allowed to remain open from 6 am to 9 pm. The Chief Minister further said the government had earmarked Rs 25 crore for the Health Department from out of its own resources to improve healthcare and strengthen the infrastructure in government hospitals.

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He said the government would strictly ensure that marriage functions were attended by only 50 invitees.

Narayanasamy said he was not happy over the alleged silence the Centre was maintaining in sanctioning funds sought by the territorial government to manage the pandemic.

When neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu had been earmarked funds by the Centre, he said the Union Territory has been let down. He said there has been no response so far to the plea for sanction of Rs 975 crore and an interim relief of Rs 225 crore to tackle the pandemic. The meeting of SDMA was attended by R Siva (DMK legislature party leader), A Anbalagan (AIADMK) and V Saminathan (Bharatiya Janata Party) and member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) V Vaithilingam besides Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar, Secretaries and DGP Balaji Srivastava. Narayanasamy said the Leader of the Opposition N Rangasamy (AINRC) did not turn up for the meeting though he was invited to attend it.

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