Lockdown extension in TN: What experts said and what CM EPS would decide?

Amid the floating speculations on the road ahead for Tamil Nadu on whether to extend the lockdown after June 30, which is the deadline of the fifth phase of the lockdown, the medical experts' committee installed by the Tamil Nadu state government said that it hasn't recommended the Chief Minister to extend the lockdown in the state, which has been witnessing an exponential rise of COVID-19 cases. 

The medical experts' committee met with Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami in the Chief Secretariat in Chennai on Monday -June 29 to discuss and frame out the regulations for moving the state after the end of the fifth phase of the lockdown. The meeting started at 10 am and last for over two hours during which the Chief Minister took stock of the COVID-19 situation in the state and the committee had moved their recommendations.


While addressing the reporters after the conclusion of the meet, Dr.Prabhdeep Kaur, who is the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Epidemiology and a member of the committee, said that the committee hasn't recommended the Chief Minister to impose another phase of lockdown in the state. Her statement has come when the state had swirled with the speculations that the government would impose lockdown as the sequel of the rapid spread of the pandemic.

She stated that the lockdown is not the only remedy and solution to curb the spread and said the state has paced up COVID-19 testing in Chennai and most of the districts in the state and the committee further advised the government that it's not required to extend the lockdown in all the districts. Dr.Kaur said that the committee has instructed the government to ramp the testing in Madurai, Trichy, Vellore, and Tiruvannamalai districts as these four districts have been reporting more cases.

The experts' committee said the velocity of virus spread in Chennai has been getting decreased and appealed to the people not to get panicked as 80% of COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu have only shown mild and moderate symptoms for the virus and the experts' reiterated that Tamil Nadu is carrying out the highest numbers of COVID-19 testing in India. By calling on people not to fear about the spread, the experts pressed that the symptomatic people must isolate themselves to avoid the spread.

Dr.Prabhdeep Kaur addressing the reporters after meeting the Chief Minister in Chennai - June 29, 2020


They should approach the fever camps if they develop symptoms of losing smell and taste and stated that people must be co-operative to contain the spread and added that Tamil Nadu holds the lowest fatality rate in the country. According to the reports, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami would be taking a final call on extending the lockdown by considering the recommendations of the committee and the current situation. 

The reports say that Tamil Nadu is not in the position of go under complete relaxations as most of the districts have been reporting more cases, leaving the government with the burden on arriving at the decision. The reports stated that the state government would possibly impose and enhance the lockdown in the districts that have more cases and grounds of rapid spread. However, the government is yet to clarify the duration of the extension and the relaxations on the restrictions. 

The Chief Minister would likely be making an announcement on Monday or Tuesday based on the recommendations and the guidelines from the Central government. The recommendations from the experts would be crucial for the state to frame the road ahead. Earlier, the government has imposed complete lockdown in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, and Madurai owing to the rampant spread of the virus and the reports suggested that these districts would likely to remain under the lockdown with fewer relaxations on the transportations and movements of people.