Expert panel recommends two weeks lockdown extension in Tamil Nadu

South India

A 19-member medical expert committee on Friday recommended extension of the 21-day lockdown against coronavirus outbreak in Tamil Nadu by two more weeks.

The state cabinet will meet on Saturday evening and take a decision on the recommendation made to the state government.  The recommendation comes in the wake of a spurt in positive cases in the state.

Tamil Nadu reported a fresh spike in cases on Thursday with 96 people testing positive for the virus. This takes the total tally in that State to 834.

Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said that the department will increase the testing after the state receives the rapid testing kits. The department is planning to test those in the community who come to the hospital with severe and acute respiratory infections.

He said that a prevalence study has already been commissioned to find out how much the disease has spread. Rajesh said of the positive cases on Thursday, 84 were from a ‘single source’, without mentioning the source by name, although it is being widely understood to be referring to cases stemming from the Tablighi Jamaat conference held in Delhi in March, said a report in Economic Times.

National Institute of Epidemiology deputy director Prabhdeep Kaur said that though efforts have been taken (to contain the spread), cases have been increasing in the state. The members of the expert committee, therefore, felt that the lockdown should be extended.

Kaur said the committee appreciated the efforts of the state government in combatting Covid-19 and the strong public health system for easy detection of cases in the field. “It can be strengthened further,” she was quoted by Times of India as saying.

Image Credit: News Crunch

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