TN expert panel says only gradual lifting of lockdown possible

Chennai, Apr 30 () An expert committee constituted bythe Tamil Nadu government on tackling COVID-19, on Thursdaysaid the ongoing lockdown scheduled to end on May 3 cannot belifted across the state uniformly, but only a graded exit waspossible.

The team's observation came on a day when the stateregistered its highest single-day spike in positive cases ofcoronavirus at 161, of which this metropolis alone reported138.

The expert group held discussions with Chief Minister KPalaniswami on the Covid-19 situation in Tamil Nadu, PrabhdeepKaur, a key member of the panel, later told reporters.

She also said lifestyle changes with increased focus onpersonal hygiene will be a key aspect as "this virus is goingto be with us for a long time."Advertisement

Kaur said testing has been increased in the last twoweeks and therefore more cases have also been detected.

But the distribution of the cases was not equal acrossthe state as there was an increase in some districts while dipin others.

"Therefore the situation is not equal," she said.
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On the relaxation of lockdown, she said it "cannot berelaxed in all parts at the same time. The situation is notconducive for complete relaxing," of the curbs.

The expert panel has suggested "indicators" both fromthe epidemiological as well as the health system prepardnesspoints, and based on that the government can decide on removalof lockdown in particular areas."But even if the lockdown is lifted, it can be donegradually only," she said and called for lifestyle changes tohandle the pandemic situation.Advertisement

Especially, there can be no relaxation on curbs againstmass gatherings, she said.

Noting that the virus will be "with us for a long time,"the penal member said measures like social distancing, handhygiene and wearing masks in public places will play animportant role in the fight against the contagion.

Kaur also stressed on the need to "protect vulnerablegroups" like senior citizens and those with cancer and kindeyailments, besides the diabetics, saying they should takeproper medical treatment. SAROH ROH
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