Tamil Nadu

Gujarat has got 10% more vaccines than T.N.: Minister

Adding facilities: The Medical Minister inspecting a COVID-19 ward at the Corona Hospital, Guindy  

Gujarat, whose population is lower than Tamil Nadu’s, has received 10% more vaccines, Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma. Subramanian said on Monday.

“We have been emphasising that this is not the appropriate time for a blame game. And yet, there is an element of truth in it. Gujarat that has a population of 6.37 crore has been allocated 16.4% vaccines, while Tamil Nadu, which has a population of 8.38 crore, has been allocated just 6.4%. This is the difference in vaccine allocation between the two States, with Gujarat getting 10% more vaccines than Tamil Nadu,” he said, answering a question whether the Centre’s vaccine allocation was biased.

The State had been pressing the Centre for more vaccine allocation, he told reporters after opening 104 oxygen beds at the Government Corona Hospital, Guindy.

Mr. Subramanian said the number of people seeking vaccination had not dipped, and vaccination was being carried out according to supply. “The State has so far received around 77 lakh doses, and has a coverage of over 70 lakh,” he said.

“In the first wave, there was vaccine wastage of up to 13%. Following this, two lakh doses have been distributed to all districts.”

Noting that the State had paid ₹46 crore for 13 lakh vaccine doses to cover the 18-44 age group, he said, “Of these, we have received nearly 11 lakh doses and sent them to all districts. Vaccination for the group will start on Tuesday. However, this is not for everyone in this age group. We will need vaccine supply in crores of doses to cover everyone. We have priority segments in the 18-44 age group, such as newspaper distributors, vegetable vendors, auto drivers, persons with disability and factory workers,” he said.

He said the government aimed to complete vaccination with the 11 lakh doses in a week. “We will not hold back any stock of vaccines. They come with an expiry period. We are expediting the process of inoculation,” he said. Once the State receives 3.5 crore vaccine doses through the global tender, its requirement would be fulfilled, he said.

The Minister said new beds were being added in all districts every day. In Chennai, more than 6,000 beds were vacant at COVID-19 care centres, while nearly 500 oxygen beds, set up at the Nandanam Chennai Trade Centre, Injambakkam, Virugambakkam, Saidapet, Royapettah and Thiru-vi-ka Nagar were vacant. Another 200 beds at Siddha COVID-19 Care Centres were also vacant.

The Minister urged the people in Chennai not to approach hospitals directly for admission. “If your swab test returns positive, do not go directly to a government hospital for admission. Approach hospitals through the screening centres set up by the Greater Chennai Corporation at 21 places.”

He said patients from neighbouring districts and even neighbouring States, such as Andhra Pradesh, approached the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) directly.

A zero-delay ward had been set up at the RGGGH for patients on oxygen support, brought in ambulances. Similar wards would be set up at all government hospitals, he said. “Patients should not be made to wait in ambulances outside hospitals. They should be shifted to the zero-delay wards immediately,” he said.

With an order issued on the cost of COVID-19 treatment under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme at private hospitals, he said 890 hospitals were instructed to treat patients under the programme. “We have instructed health officials in all districts to immediately display the permitted rates at these hospitals,” he said. If there is any complaint of over-charging, the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services would take action.

Among others, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan and director of the Government Corona Hospital K. Narayanasamy were present.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 1:51:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/gujarat-has-got-10-more-vaccines-than-tn-minister/article34637237.ece

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