Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus | Weekend lockdown gave infection spread a break, says Health Secretary

A view of the deserted look NSC bose Road and Esplanade road junction in Chennai on April 25, 2021.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The total lock down on Sunday has given the spread of COVID-19 infection a break, health secretary J. Radhakrishnan said on Tuesday after inspecting the preparedness of Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet.

“As far as COVID is concerned due to lock down on Sunday there is a break. This is a good signal. If we continue to wear masks and not go to public places unnecessarily we will soon be able to prevent its spread,” he told reporters. With the numbers falling in the last two days he said if people cooperated “We can plateau or reduce” the number of infections, he said.

He urged people not to come out of their homes over the next few days and follow the State government’s restrictions. He said in many shops the air conditioning had been switched off. “In Tamil Nadu we should be careful. We do not have as high numbers of infection as neighbouring states but people should be careful as 30% of those diagnosed require hospitalisation,” he said.

This could be reduced further if people followed the government’s advisory. He said many people come directly to hospitals but the government followed the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation to triage patients, he explained.

The procedure involves identifying people with symptoms and testing them. The Chennai Corporation had arranged for vehicles to transport people for testing. “The benefit is that when people get x-ray and blood profile done at one of the 12 screening centres in the city they are segregated as per the severity of their condition. Please make full use of the screening centres,” he urged.

Later at a function organised by Rotary Club of Madras at the Government Omandurar Multi Super Speciality Hospital to donate vehicles and equipment to store and transport vaccines, Dr. Radhakrishnan said the State had taken a revolutionary decision to sell Remdesivir directly to patients to prevent sale of the drug through black market from Gujarat to hospitals in the city. The drug is administered to patients who are on oxygen support in hospitals.

On complaints that there was a shortage of the drug Dr. Radhakrishnan said the drug is sold only based on certain mandatory documents from the hospital and the patient’s family. Also, the Central government had given the State 59,000 doses of the medicine for the period from April 21 to 30.

The State had also written to the Centre seeking more quantities of the drug. He said since it was a dynamic situation the health department was constantly monitoring the situation and it would take necessary action to not only manage the crowd but also provide the medicine seamlessly.

On the decision to administer vaccine to prevent COVID-19 free of cost to people over the age of 45 years, he said the Central government had not given clear details about the procedure. However, the medicine would be administered free of cost at government hospitals.

IMA's appeal

The Indian Medical Association Tamil Nadu State Branch has thanked the government for easing the procurement of Remdesivir. It has appealed to the government to make arrangement to sell Remdesivir in major cities such as Thiruchirappalli, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Salem, Hosur, Nagercoil, Vellore, Dindigul immediately.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 4:45:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/coronavirus-weekend-lockdown-gave-infection-spread-a-break-says-health-secretary/article34422763.ece

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