Kerala expert committee tells Centre to extend lockdown

Kerala expert committee tells Centre to extend lockdown

Agency News

The Kerala’s expert committee to advise on Covid19, has requested Centre to extend the Covid19 lockdown.

The Kerala’s expert committee is comprising of 17 experts from various fields. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will soon be sending the report to the Centre for its consideration.

The expert committee assessed that the time is not yet ripe for full withdrawal of the lockdown on April 14.

The Committee has recommended a gradual and phased withdrawal strategy to ensure that the caseload is always kept below the (surge) capacity of the healthcare system to deal with it.

"In this context, continuing to restrict large scale movement of people across international and state boundaries is critical and should not be considered unless and until the situation is under control in every state," the report said.

According to the report, any exit strategy would need to take into consideration the following key aspects at the national level and state level:

- The likely trajectory of the epidemic over the next few weeks /months

- The State’s capacity to build up an effective and responsive healthcare system to deal with the epidemic in a few weeks or months

- The actual impact on the economy and the financial system of the current total lockdown; and its continued extension by a few weeks/months; as well as its efficacy and above all sustainability

- The specific impact on the poorest and most vulnerable sections given that they are likely to bear a disproportionate part of the costs

- Financial capacity of the State to support the poorest sections; as well as the productive economic agents in the medium to long term in the event of continued total / partial lockdown

The report added that a phased exit from the lockdown will help mitigate the economic, famine and law and order issues that may emerge from a prolonged lockdown.

The committee also called for efforts to ramp up production and procurement of test kits, ventilators, PPEs for healthcare personnel and masks.