Tamil Nadu

COVID-19: Have to wait and see if cases are rising following holidays and travel, says TN Health Minister

Health Minister Ma. Subramanian inspecting 100 beds at the Siddha Covid-19 Care Centre on Monday

Health Minister Ma. Subramanian inspecting 100 beds at the Siddha Covid-19 Care Centre on Monday

Considering the Pongal holidays, festivities and people travelling from cities to villages over the last three to four days, there is an apprehension that the COVID-19 spread could be greater this week. The case trend will be known in two to three days, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said. on Monday

With its fast spread being one of the main characteristics of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the Minister said that one infected person could transmit the infection to eight or nine persons. “In the last 10 days, we have been seeing a daily rise of about 2,000 cases in the State. Yesterday, the cases reduced slightly. As far as the test results that we have received till now for today [Monday], we are expecting the cases to be fewer by 400 to 500 compared to yesterday,” he said.

“Nevertheless, considering the continuous holidays and festivities in the last three to four days, there is an apprehension that the spread could be more. Lakhs of people have travelled from cities such as Chennai to their villages. Even if one was infected, they could spread the infection to others in the village. We will know the trend -- whether cases are rising or decreasing -- in two to three days,” he told reporters on the sidelines of launching a 100-bed COVID-19 Care Centre at the National Institute of Siddha.

‘Only 8,900 beds occupied’

The State has a total of 1.92 lakh beds for COVID-19 of which only 8,900 beds were occupied, he said, adding that in Chengalpattu, of the 10,360 beds, 456 beds were occupied to date, registering an occupancy rate of six per cent. COVID-19 treatment facilities were set up in 65 government and private hospitals in the district. CCCs were set up at a number of colleges in Chengalpattu district.

COVID-19 vaccination

The overall vaccination coverage of the State has crossed nine crore, the Minister said. Of the 5.78 crore eligible persons in the State, 88.63% have received the first dose and 64.45% have received the second dose.

“When we take the 33.46 lakh eligible persons in the 15-18 age group into account, the first dose coverage is 87.91% and second dose coverage is 60.74%,” he said. Overall, the State has administered 9,10,26,483 doses till now.

He said as of date, 76% of the 15-18 age group category were vaccinated in the State. About 25.22 lakh children of the eligible 33.46 lakh were inoculated so far. A line-list of students who are yet to receive the vaccination was being prepared.

Noting that vaccination coverage had slowed down in the last two to three days due to the holidays, he said the 19th mega vaccination camp would be held on January 19 at 50,000 places. All categories of eligible persons, including those eligible for the precaution dose, should come forward and get vaccinated at these camps, the Minister said.

The State had nearly 57 lakh doses of Covishield and 17 lakh doses of Covaxin in hand. The second dose pendency was nearly 90 lakh, he said.

Districts that were lagging behind in vaccination were being identified and direct inspections were being taken up, the Minister said, adding: “We will be visiting Tenkasi and Tirunelveli during the mega camp. Tirunelveli has a first dose coverage of 77% and second dose coverage of 46%, while Tenkasi’s first dose coverage is 77% and second dose coverage is 55%,” he said.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 4:38:17 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-have-to-wait-and-see-if-cases-are-rising-following-holidays-and-travel-says-tn-health-minister/article38281883.ece