Tamil Nadu

Health secretary moots street and habitation-level micro vaccination plan to officials

The Health Department may have to develop a detailed street and habitation-level micro vaccination plan to ensure vaccination against COVID-19 picks up, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan suggested in a letter to District Collectors and Commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation.

Vaccination had improved from 4,000 a day last week to 1.43 lakh on Saturday due to the IIT-Madras cluster. However, over 40 lakh persons are yet to take the first dose and over 1.4 crore persons are eligible for the second dose, he said.

He called for tightening enforcement of COVID-19- appropriate behaviour in crowded places and advised officials to increase surveillance and advocate self-health monitoring and testing of persons with travel history.

Since the symptoms reported so far have been mild, people tend to dismiss COVID-19, especially Omicron variant as routine cough and cold. “The public needs to be made aware that once the immunity level comes down, especially among those who are elderly and co-morbid, fatality is high in Europe, and even China is reporting fatalities of Omicron,” he cautioned.

Dr. Radhakrishnan has called for RT-PCR test for persons with symptoms after visiting crowded places, even within the State. “If they develop symptoms, them and their contacts should be subjected to RT-PCR tests,” he wrote. All tested persons should be advised self-isolation and monitored until they get their results. Those testing negative initially should monitor their health and if they develop symptoms, they should get tested again later.

Officials must continue to get reports on the status and preparedness of medical facilities besides closely monitoring the trajectory of cases, trend and the need for hospitalisation. Though in the last month only Omicron variant had been reported, officials had been advised to send positive samples for whole genomic sequencing to determine the variant or sub-variant, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 12:32:34 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/health-secretary-moots-street-and-habitation-level-micro-vaccination-plan-to-officials/article65351287.ece