Forty-three persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu on Monday. The State now has a total of 1,520 cases, of which 1,406 are active. The total number of deaths stands at 17.

Keeping the current scenario in mind, the Tamil Nadu government announced that the COVID-19 lockdown would continue to be enforced till May 3 without any further relaxation.

The decision also meant that there would not be a relaxation for any industry in the State except for the essential services already notified.

The decision not to grant any relaxation from the lockdown was made during a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority, of which Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami is the chairperson. The SDMA also considered the views of the 21-member expert committee, tasked with formulating an exit strategy.

The SDMA felt that the lockdown needed to go on without any fresh relaxation in the prevailing conditions. “Since containment efforts against the spread of COVID-19 were required to be intensified,” the lockdown would continue till May 3, an official release stated.

“Exemptions granted by the government for essential works and services would continue,” it specified and went on to state that “if the severity of the spread of COVID-19 declined, decisions would be taken after receiving the report from the expert committee.”

Officials present at the meeting also cited the decisions taken by governments of Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab, Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat to continue with the lockdown in their respective States.

On Monday evening, the State government issued a G.O. to the effect that all restrictions mentioned in the Revenue Department G.O. dated March 25 (G.O. No. 193) would prevail and the eventual G.O. issued on April 15 (G.O. No. 172) would not be applicable in Tamil Nadu. “On April 15, the State government merely endorsed all the guidelines issued by the Centre, which allowed select activities that were to be allowed after April 20. The fresh G.O. will not allow those activities,” sources said.

Since the lockdown had been imposed under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the SDMA was to decide on whether to continue with it. Though members of the expert panel and senior officials from the Health Department were not part of the SDMA, they attended the meeting as special invitees.

Though the expert committee was constituted to generate suggestions on the way forward after April 20 and the “strategy to take measures in the post-lockdown period”, there was no talk on the latter. “On Monday morning, the immediate issue to be considered was to decide on relaxation, which was not difficult to take. With the prevailing conditions, it was an open and shut case. But, as for post-lockdown [after May 3], there has not been any talk and it will be decided later,” a senior official said.

News Source: The Hindu


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