Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Friday announced the government will tighten lockdown restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic in five municipal corporations – Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem and Tirupur – from April 26, The News Minute reported.

The municipal corporations of Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore will enforce a total shutdown for four days, from 6 am on April 26 to 9 pm on April 29. Similarly, the municipal corporations of Salem and Tirupur will enforce a total shutdown for three days from 6 am on April 26 to 9 pm on April 28.

This entails a blanket ban on all activities and movement of people apart from the “extremely essential services” as identified by the government. At present, shops and other establishments are allowed to function till 1 pm. However, this relaxation will not be applicable during the full day lockdown, the government said in a press release.

This means that all other shops and supermarkets which were given the permission to function earlier will now be closed. Only hospitals, essential services like AMMA canteens, ATMs, restaurants with home delivery and mobile vegetable carts will be allowed.

Those who violate the restrictions would face legal action and their vehicles would be impounded.

In other cities, the present lockdown relaxations will continue.

The decision to tighten restrictions in the five cities was made on the basis of recommendations of doctors and public health experts at a review meeting chaired by the chief minister on Friday. “Though the spread of the disease has come under control in rural areas, the chances of it spreading in cities is high,” the statement said. “During the meeting it was clear that only if the restrictions are made more stringent, the spread of the disease can be brought under control in cities.”

Tamil Nadu has reported 1,683 coronavirus cases as of Friday morning, with 20 deaths.

The number of coronavirus cases in India jumped to 23,077 on Friday morning, but the Indian Council of Medical Research said at least 23,502 people have tested positive so far. The toll rose to 718, while the number of patients who have recovered stood at 4,748.