The team suggests intensifying restrictions at places with high caseload, and keeping the public transportation system limited.

The empty roads of ChennaiImage for representation
Coronavirus Lockdown Monday, June 29, 2020 - 19:11

In a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, an expert committee on COVID-19 said on Monday that it was not in favour of extending the lockdown in the whole state. The committee suggested that lockdown could be intensified in places with high COVID-19 caseload.

After over two hours of discussions, Dr Prabhdeep Kaur, a member of Chief Minister’s Expert Committee on COVID-19 said, “Our committee has not recommended a lockdown because it is a blunt instrument, but not a solution. We require it at times, but lockdown alone cannot be a solution for COVID-19 pandemic. We need to intensify the restrictions in places with high caseload.”

Prabhdeep, who is also the Deputy Director of National Institute of Epidemiology, added, “Public transport has led to the increase in transmission in many districts. Hence, we need to keep public transport limited, and disallow public gatherings.”

“Data from the last two weeks shows cities with urban populations reporting an increasing number of patients, and the doubling time has also reduced. So, the restrictions in those districts should be intensified like Chennai. Fever clinics should also be set up for people so that they can visit the clinics if they have symptoms and aid early detection. A volunteer base can also be set up like it was done in Chennai, for supplying essentials,” Prabhdeep said, adding, “The government currently aims to reduce deaths.”

She also tweeted that decisions on lockdown will be taken on a district level. “TN government will take a decision on restrictions or lockdown based on the district level situation. Expert group recommended that analysis of various epidemiological indicators and field situations might be considered while making the decision.”

Dr Ramasubramanian, another member of the expert committee and an infectious diseases expert, said, “Full lockdown is like killing a mosquito with an axe. We have received the benefit of the lockdown. The people are aware about the transmission of the disease now. So, since we have many other things to do, we need a different approach.”

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