Tamil Nadu

COVID-19: Come out of holiday mood, Tamil Nadu Health Minister tells people

Tamil Nadu Minister for Health and Family Welfare C. Vijayabaskar

Tamil Nadu Minister for Health and Family Welfare C. Vijayabaskar   | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

The Health Minister urged people to avoid unncessary travel

Calling upon the people of the State “to come out of holiday mood” and “get serious and avoid unnecessary travel”, health minister C. Vijayabaskar on Saturday said the government was keeping ready five dedicated mini buses at the International Airport for the benefit of passengers to go either to quarantine facilities or to hotels.

He told the Assembly that the buses were operated under the control of an IAS officer and all those who were coming from foreign countries were given personal protective equipment. He said government has also started the practice of stamping the quarantine period on the hands of persons in Madurai, and they were also offered counselling.

“We have so far quarantined 4,253 persons. The 20-bed isolation wards in medical college hospitals would be upgraded into 100-bed isolation wards,” he said.

Responding to Opposition leader M.K. Stalin who wanted to know about the preparedness of the government to counter COVID-19, the Minister said the government also had plans to rope in private hospitals and retired government doctors.

“We have asked the private hospitals, if they are interested in offering treatment, to give the details about beds and isolation wards. Government doctors are checking the facilities and we will issue notifications,” said.

He said Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had allotted ₹60 crore in the first phase. As he was making the speech, the Chief Minister told the Minister that money would not be a constraint as funds could be released from the State Disaster Management Fund.

Mr. Vijayabaskar said the government was installing 560 new ventilators in addition to the 1,100 ventilators in the government hospitals and also at secondary-level hospitals. “We have set up three level of wards—Isolation ward, Step down ward and Observation ward,” he said.

Mr. Vijayabaskar said the government had taken efforts on a war-footing and purchased equipment without calling for tenders as time did not permit for the following of procedures. He said the government had decided to buy 1 lakh more masks and 10 lakh triple-layer masks for the health workers.

Mr .Vijaybaskar said a control room had been set up and 100 workers were responding to queries day and night. Control rooms have also been set up in districts.

Reiterating that the people’s cooperation was very important in combating the disease, the Minister said the flow of passengers from North India and other states was continuing and screening was being done at the 7 exit points at Central station. “Screening is done in Egmore and Tambaram. A total of 8,500 people are screened at the International Airport and 16,000 people at the domestic airport daily,” he said.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 6:37:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-come-out-of-holiday-mood-tamil-nadu-health-minister-tells-people/article31127988.ece

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