Most members of an expert medical committee, who met Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday, emphasised that strict quarantine should be enforced in Covid-19 containment zones.
The experts also said there were chances of a second wave of COVID-19 infection within a few months.
“If the first wave is contained, there are chances for a second one in the next three or four months. In China, the second wave has started. So, everyone has the responsibility to provide security to the people around us. Despite widespread fear, people fail to take the necessary precautions to prevent the pandemic,” said Dr V Ramasubramaniam, Infectious Diseases Consultant, Apollo Hospitals.
After a one-and-a-half-hour-long meeting with the chief minister at the secretariat, Dr Kuganantham said the state government would take a final call on the lockdown. Eight members of the 19-member committee met the chief minister at the secretariat.
“We have discussed strategies for every ward in the city. We have told the government that they should ensure adequate number of beds, oxygen supply and equipment like pulse oximeters,” he added.
Meanwhile, amid reports that private healthcare facilities were overcharging COVID-19 patients, the Centre on Monday asked states to engage with hospitals and fix rates for treatment provided to coronavirus patients to ensure that they receive ‘prompt and good quality’ at reasonable rates
Following a state cabinet meeting and a briefing by an expert advisory panel, Palaniswami said the decision to impose the lockdown in Chennai, and the neighbouring districts of Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur, was “based on the recommendation of medical and health experts”.
In these four districts, officials said, only essential medical services, private vehicles for emergency use, government offices and banks with a staff strength of 33 per cent, and shops selling essential items, will be allowed during the lockdown.