CHENNAI: While the expert panel formed by the State has advised extending the lockdown by another 14 days and the Indian Medical Association by another three weeks, a final decision will be taken by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday after meeting his Cabinet colleagues and discussing the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing the media on Friday, Chief Secretary K Shanmugam said Palaniswami has been considering the views of all experts on the matter. The CM held a meeting with the expert panel on Friday, which suggested withdrawing the lockdown only after bringing the cases under control.
“Around 17 members participated in the two-hour meeting. Sowmya Swamanithan, Chief Scientist with WHO, also participated through video conference from Geneva. The panel recommended an extension as cases have been increasing in the last one week,” said Prabhdeep Kaur, Deputy Director of National Institute of Epideomology, ICMR, who is part of the panel.
“The committee has recommended more testings over the next 14 days. Data collected over this period must be used to make an informed decision. The committee also discussed about safety of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. Patients and their family needs were discussed,” added Kaur.
Meanwhile, with the State remaining under lockdown, the government is facing a shortfall of Rs 10,000 crore and is planning to raise the amount through borrowings from financial institutions. Sources told Express that the coffers are in bad shape as taxes have dried up. There is no collection of commercial tax, which otherwise rakes in Rs 7,000 crore a month. Other taxes, which bring in about Rs 2,000 crore have also dried up.
No more tunnels
State government has instructed not to install any more disinfectant tunnels
In a meeting chaired by CM, experts said there is no scientific proof on their effectiveness
Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over the body won’t kill viruses that have entered the body