The panel of public health and medical experts constituted by the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday suggested to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami not to give any relaxation to Chennai and three neighbouring districts from the COVID-19 lockdown, which is to end on May 31.

Addressing the media, after their meeting with the Chief Minister, Prabhdeep Kaur, Scientist–E/Deputy Director, Indian Council of Medical Research–National Institute of Epidemiology, said the panel opposed giving any relaxation to Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur districts.

She said the panel felt that there could not be one rule for all of Tamil Nadu. Relaxations could be granted based on the situation prevailing in in the district, she said. Seventy per cent of the COVID-19 positive cases across the country were reported in 30 districts. More cases were reported in cities, as there they were more crowded, she said.

Since it was a new virus, its behaviour could not be understood completely, she said.

Bed capacity

Dr. Kaur pointed out that the case fatality rate (number of death in every 100 cases) was low in Tamil Nadu. The State had been increasing the bed capacity, which would help in managing high number of cases. However, there was a need to increase testing of samples. If people had any symptoms, they should approach doctors. Wearing of masks must be strictly complied with, , she added.

Dr. P. Guhunantham, member of the panel, said as there were more cases in crowded areas, there was a need for awareness among people who lived there.

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