TN extends COVID-19 lockdown till April 30, to effectively implement test-track-treat protocol

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Chennai, Mar 31 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu government has extended the COVID-19-enforced lockdown till April 30 with existing relaxations and restrictions, and will effectively implement the test-track-treat protocol to contain the spread of the virus, according to an order issued by Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan.

According to the order, there was a need to ensure that the RT-PCR tests conducted were uniformly distributed across all districts with adequate testing to be done in districts reporting high number of infections.

On tracking new cases, Ranjan said the new infections detected due to intensive testing need to be isolated and their contacts have to be traced at the earliest and quarantined.

Containment zones have to be 'demarcated' and prescribed containment measures should be implemented within such zones, he said.

'Effective demarcation of containment zones in vulnerable and high incidence areas is key to break the chain of transmission and controlling the spread of the virus. The containment zones shall be carefully demarcated by the district authorities...,' he said.

On treatment protocol, he said there should be quick isolation of COVID-19 patients in care facilities or at home and clinical interventions shall be administered.

'Effective infection prevention and control practices shall be followed in treatment facilities and by healthcare workers and professionals,' he said.

The district administration should take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19-appropriate behaviour and strict adherence to wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing, he said.

The district collectors shall strictly enforce the COVID-19 guidelines and for the enforcement of social distancing, the district administrations, as far as possible, use the provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

'Based on the assessment of the situation, local restrictions at district/sub-district and city/ward level with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19 shall be imposed,' he said.

Any person violating these measures would be liable to be proceeded against under the Disaster Management Act, besides legal action under the Indian Penal Code and other legal provisions as applicable, he said.

On the vaccination drive, he said inoculation against COVID-19 in the present scenario was critical to break the chain of transmission.

Therefore, the district administration shall rapidly step up the pace of vaccination to cover all priority groups, as recommended by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 and approved by the Centre, in an expeditious manner, he said. PTI VIJ SMN SMN