President-elect Joe Biden named 13 doctors to his coronavirus advisory board Monday, including Dr Céline Gounder who received a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2000.

Gounder was also a post-doctoral fellow in Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University.

She will be among the doctors helping Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their transition team with COVID-19 related decisions. She currently teaches at NYU Langone Health.

The board will be led by co-chairs Dr David Kessler, Dr Vivek Murthy, and Dr Marcella Nunez-Smith.

Indian-American doctor Atul Gawande also has been included in US President-elect Joe Biden's newly announced transition coronavirus advisory board. Gawande said he is grateful and honoured to be asked to serve and contribute to ending the Covid-19 pandemic.

A surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston he is also a professor at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Gawande was a senior adviser in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under former President Bill Clinton. Before joining medical school, Gawande had been a part of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign. He previously served as a senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration.

Biden is starting his transition plans as the pandemic climbs to a new high point. Over the past two weeks, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen nearly 65%: the 7-day rolling average for daily new cases in the US went from 66,294 on Oct. 25 to 108,736.7 on November 8.

Marking the transition, Biden said, “Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts.” The Advisory Board, he added, “will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.” New cases are rising in at least 40 states, with more than 9.3 million total infections and more than 2,36,000 deaths, the note said.

Meanwhile, DMK President M K Stalin on Tuesday hailed the appointment of Celine Gounder in the Covid-19 Advisory Board of US President-elect Joe Biden, saying she was a "woman of Tamil origin."

The leader of the opposition in the state Assembly greeted Gounder on her appointment. "Glad to hear about the appointment of Celine Gounder to President-Elect Joe Biden's National Pandemic Taskforce to combat COVID-19. Happy to hear about the appointment of a woman of Tamil origin to this crucial task force," he said in a Facebook post. "Congratulations & best wishes," he added.