New Delhi: Dismissing all speculations, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Friday clarified that the state has no immediate plans to impose stricter lockdown as being rumoured and there will be stern legal actions against such misinformation. Also Read - 'Secrecy, Deception And Cover-Up': Donald Trump Again Accuses China of Spreading Coronavirus

“I saw that such a message is being spread on my name on WhatsApp. We have not made any such announcement. The government has no such plans (to enforce stricter lockdown measures),” the chief minister said. Also Read - Amarnath Yatra 2020 News: Only 500 Pilgrims Will be Allowed Per Day by Road From Jammu

Strict legal actions will be taken if found spreading such false message, he said, speaking to reporters after opening the shutters of the Mettur dam to facilitate irrigation. Also Read - ICMR Faces Flak Over Fast-tracking Covaxin Trials; Medical Body Clarifies August 15 Deadline Meant to 'Cut Red Tape'

The sudden sky-rocketing in the number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths in Tamil Nadu led to many believing that the state government would announce a stricter lockdown. Messages were widely circulated on social media platforms claiming another lockdown.

Tamil Nadu has about 40,698 COVID-19 cases with over 28,000 from Chennai alone, as of June 12.

However, the Palaniswami government informed the Madras High Court that there was no plan as of now to bring Chennai or any other place in Tamil Nadu under a complete lockdown to check COVID-19 spread.

The submission was made in response to the court’s query a day ago regarding complete lockdown in the metropolis and its suburbs for some time as the areas have been reporting increased number of COVID-19 cases over the past few days.

Maintaining that the high density of population in Chennai could be a factor triggering the spike in COVID-19 cases, Palaniswami said, “there are at least 87 lakh people living in Chennai.

We have narrow streets that are only five to six feet wide and seven to eight people live in the same house. This is the reason for the spread of the disease.”

Underscoring the importance of following safety protocols, the chief minister said people have still not understood the seriousness of the situation.

“Sadly, on my way here, I saw that people were not wearing face masks,” he said.

With PTI inputs