Medical panel recommends extension of lockdown in TN

Chennai: The 19-member Committee of medical experts, formed to track the spread of coronavirus in the State, today recommended extension on the current lockdown in Tamilnadu by two weeks beyond April 14.

The recommendation was made to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at a nearly two-hour long meeting during which the prevailing COVID-19 situation and also the steady increase in the number of positive cases, which touched 834, was discussed.

Medical experts from abroad also joined the meeting through video conferencing at the State Secretariat.

All the 19 doctors in the panel were unanimous in their view that the lockdown should be extended by two weeks beyond April 14, when the 21-day Nation-wide curfew announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prevent spread of the corona pandemic in the country, was scheduled to end, one of the Committee members Dr Prathiba told reporters after the meeting.

“Despite all efforts taken by the government, corona cases have been increasing…all the doctors (in the 19-member panel) feel that it would be good if the lockdown is extended for 14 more days”, she said.

This is among the recommendations of the Committee, she added. Prathiba said the government’s efforts in tackling the spread of corona in the state was appreciable.

”Whatever the steps are being taken, there has been increase in the number of coroa cases. Hence we have recommended extension of the lockdown by 14 days, beyond April 14”, she added.

In the event of extending the lockdown, the government should use this period to carry out more number of tests and subject all quarantined patients to full medical check-ups.

The Expert Committee was formed for treatment protocol and clinical manifestations and COVID-19 infections.

Yesterday, Palaniswami, when asked about extending the lockdown, told reporters that the recommendations of the 19-member expert medical Committee and that of the 12 coordination committee set up to combat COVID-19 would be taken into consideration before deciding
on extending it.

In Tamilnadu eight people have lost their lives due to the corona pandemic and 834 people have so far tested positive.

Since the number of positive cases has been exponentially increasing with every passing day, suggestions have been made to the government
to extend the lock down to at least till April 30.

Stating that a decision on extending the lockdown beyond April 14 would be taken based on the severity of the spread of the virus and after eliciting the views of the medical experts, Palaniswami did not rule out the possibility of the virus progressing to the Stage-3 (community transmission).

He, however, said that all steps were being taken to maintain it in the current Stage-2 itself in the State.

NT Bureau