No need to extend lockdown: Tamil Nadu expert panel on public health

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on June 29, 2020

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Focus should be on reducing the death rate by detecting symptoms early and ramping up testing, says committee

There is no need to extend the lockdown, which is not the solution at all times; however, restrictions need to be increased in areas/zones where health indicators are not satisfactory — this was recommended by the medical and public health experts committee to the Tamil Nadu government.

A lockdown is a blunt instrument; it is not a solution at all times, Prabhdeep Kaur, ICMR Scientist, told newspersons after the expert committee’s meeting with Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami.

In Chennai, coronavirus transmission has slowed down, and the infection’s doubling time has increased; though the number of Covid-19 cases have increased, in some areas the trend is slowing down and there is no need to panic about the increase in numbers, she added.

The committee felt that the focus should be to reduce the death rate. This can be done by early detection of any symptom and increased testing. Like in Chennai, testing should be increased in major cities such as Madurai, Trichy, Vellore and Tirunannamalai, where the virus has started spreading due to higher density, she added. She urged people to follow the government's guidelines and take preventive initiatives, including wearing masks and observing social distancing.

An increase in the number of cases has been detected in fever clinics held across Chennai. Such clinics should be held in other districts to identify people with any symptoms and given treatment immediately, she said.

Public transport is one of the reasons for transmission in the districts. This needs to be controlled and gathering should not be allowed, she said.

Published on June 29, 2020

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