Tamil Nadu did a better job of handling the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to some other States in the country, former Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan said here on Wednesday.
While delivering the “Professor Dr. P.T. Srinivasan Endowment Lecture” at the University of Madras on “Managing the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons learnt and road ahead,” she said the lockdown was entirely the decision of the Centre during the first wave, but a lot of granular decision making was done by the State government.
“A lot of proactive planning was done in the first wave which helped during the second wave. This was not done just by the health department alone but it was the effort of the entire government. From small industries creating ventilators to textile industry pitching in to making masks, several people contributed. Second wave was a more virulent wave and that they were able to handle it much better,” she added.
Tamil Nadu had a history of handling quite a few epidemics, including dengue, chikungunya and H1N1, but it was nothing compared to the scale and the magnitude of what COVID-19 was. “But what we learnt from other previous crisis like floods and other outbreaks helped to some extent. Even for vaccination rates, we were slow starters at the time of election, but by one month, we climbed up to the fourth spot,” she said.