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TN to go by Centre’s decision on lockdown extension: CS

Chennai, April 11 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government will follow whatever is announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the extension in the 21-day nationwide lockdown beyond April 14, Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters here, he said the state Cabinet met here and decided to follow Modi’s announcement as regards the lockdown.

Following Modi’s announcement, Chief Minster K. Palaniswami would announce the course that the state will follow, he said.

Palaniswami, during a videoconference meeting with Modi on Saturday morning, suggested extension of the lockdown by two more weeks.

Palaniswami also urged Modi not to resume train and flight services but allow inter-state movement of goods.

According to Shanmugam, the Chief Ministers of many others states were in favour of extending the lockdown by two more weeks, failing which the gains secured till date in the fight against coronavirus will be lost.

Modi had advised the Chief Ministers on popularising Aarogya Setu app; use of telemedicine; classifying containment zone into three categories; and follow the relevant procedures, Shanmugam said.

Shanmugam said that the state Cabinet also reviewed in detail the steps taken to contain the spread of coronavirus and other actions.

He said Palaniswami is considering the state government foot the cost of coronavirus test done by private hospitals in Tamil Nadu.

According to him, the state currently has about 29,000 corona patient isolation beds and a group of officials are looking at the infrastructure available across the state to augment the bed capacity to treat three lakh patients.

Shanmugam said another official group is dealing with the numbers projection daily based on the new positive cases reported.

The Chief Secretary said the Tamil Nadu government is admitting all corona patients in hospitals even though the central government has recommended serious patients to be admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), moderately ill patients in isolation wards in hospitals and mildly suffering patients be treated at their homes.

As for the sufferings of Tamil Nadu farmers unable to harvest and market their produce, Shanmugam said agriculture field officers have been asked to get in touch with the farmers in their respective areas and take stock of the farm produce and arrange for bulk procurement.

The farmers can also avail loans based on their produce stored in godowns, Shanmugam added.

–IANS

vj/tsb

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