A volunteer feeds a flock of birds near Besant Nagar beach, in Chennai on Sunday. -- PTI
A volunteer feeds a flock of birds near Besant Nagar beach, in Chennai on Sunday. -- PTI
R Senthil Kumar

Chennai

With new cases of novel coronavirus disease rising by the day — Sunday saw 3,940 patients being added to the tally — questions are being raised if the ongoing lockdown in Tamil Nadu will be lifted and if yes, how. CM Edappadi K Palaniswami on Sunday said a decision on lifting or extending the lockdown would be taken based the inputs by medical experts on Monday.

The current lockdown is to end on June 30. The state had earlier offered many relaxations from June 1 outside of Chennai and its surrounding districts of Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu. However, from June 19 it imposed a “complete lockdown” in Chennai till the month-end and a similar measure was taken in Madurai city and its surroundings last week.

Besides, from June 25 it imposed a six-day restriction in movement of buses between two districts in areas where it was allowed earlier.

“We have increased testing. The focus is on curtailing the spread of the contagious disease in Chennai. That is why we had written to the Southern Railways to cancel train services till July 15 and the Railways has also obliged. However, any decision on extending the lockdown will be taken by the CM after discussions with the medical experts team,” a senior government official said.

On Sunday an infant and a 17-year-old were among those whose deaths were registered by the Health Dept. Of the 31,505 persons tested on Sunday, 3,940 tested positive for COVID-19. With this the state’s COVID-19 tally rose to 82,275. But, 1,443 patients were discharged and in all 45,537 persons have been treated successfully, a Health Dept official said.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday announced the extension of lockdown in the state till July 15.

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