The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday extended the lockdown in the state till March 31 in view of a surge in the coronavirus cases, reported the Hindustan Times. The government has asked all district administrations to enforce strict Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

“The district administration shall take all necessary measures to promote Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and ensure the wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing,” the notification said.

The Union health ministry identified Tamil Nadu as one of the six states that have shown a surge in new coronavirus cases on Sunday. The state reported 479 Covid-19 cases, taking the infection tally to over 8.51 lakh. The toll rose by five to 12,496. There are 4,022 active cases currently, and 8,35,024 people have recovered from the infection.

In its order, the government also directed district authorities to demarcate the containment zones. “It shall be the responsibility of the local district, police and municipal authorities to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed,” the notification said.

The district authorities will also need to adhere to the standard operating procedures for various activities during the lockdown. “These include movement of passenger trains; air travel; metro trains; schools; higher educational institutions; hotels and restaurants; shopping malls; multiplexes and entertainment parks; yoga centres and gymnasiums etc,” the notification said.

Shops, workplaces, offices, markets and commercial and industrial establishments have been asked to follow staggered working hours. They have also been directed to ensure physical distancing norms, sanitisation facilities and screening of people for Covid-19 symptoms.

The government has also cautioned people above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years of age to take necessary precautions.