Chennai, May 13 : Averring that controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state was only in the hands of people, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today said the government was prepared to further relax the lockdown restrictions if people extend their full cooperation. Reviewing the COVID-19 situation with the District Collectors through video-conferencing from the State Secretariat here, he said controlling the spread of the virus lies only in the hands of the people by following the guidelines announced by the government.
'If people extend their full cooperation, more relaxations in the lockdown will be announced and steps will be taken to restore normal life in the state', he added. Stating that COVID-19 mortality rate in Tamil Nadu was the lowest in the country at 0.67 per cent (61 deaths so far of a total 8,718 positive cases), he said according to experts the intensity of the virus would come down after it increased step by step.
Attributing the significant increase in positive cases due to higher testing numbers, Mr Palaniswami said the testing rate was the highest in Tami Nadu when compared to other states in the country, while allaying the fears of the people in the wake of spurt in cases, especially in Chennai, which has been recording cases in excess of 500 during the last couple of days. The Chief Minister, who had already dropped enough indications of extending the lockdown beyond May 17 by urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to restore air and train services in the State till this month end in view of increase in cases, said by strictly adhering to social distancing norms and wearing face masks the spread of coronavirus could be controlled.
'Corona is an invisible virus and can easily and speedily spread from one person to another. The only way to prevent its spread and control it is people should cooperate with the government by following the lockdown guidelines', Mr Palaniswami said. Commending the district collectors for taking steps on a war footing to tackle the spread of the virus, he said by following the advice of the Central government, WHO guidelines and the suggestions given by the medical expert panel, the government was able to control the spread of COVID-19. Mr Palaniswami also referred to the constitution of Special Investment Promotion Task Force to woo foreign investments into the State in the wake of some companies mulling moving out of some countries in view of the economic upheaval caused by the coronavirus. (UNI)