Tamil Nadu

Steps being taken to face third COVID-19 wave, says TN Health Minister

Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday said in the State Legislative Assembly that it was taking all steps necessary to improve medical infrastructure, even as it hoped that the third COVID-19 wave may not hit the State. Tamil Nadu needed about 10 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines to cover all eligible citizens.

During the past month-and-a-half, 79,618 beds have been made available as parts of efforts being taken to face the third COVID-19 wave, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said in the House. “We only hope that there is no third COVID wave but we are taking every step possible to face it, should it come,” he said and recalled the recent setting up of a special ward in the children’s hospital in Egmore.

As for the vaccination drive, he said the State was receiving vaccine doses “to some extent” and the number of those choosing to vaccinate themselves has gone up. On June 21, about 3.96 lakh people took vaccine shots. A total of 2,510 cases of mucormycosis were reported in the State and of them, 130 were discharged after being given treatment, he said.

When the DMK government was sworn-in on May 7, the number of COVID-19 cases stood at 26,265 a day and it went up to 36,157 on May 21. But, it eventually dropped to over 7,400 on June 21, Mr. Subramanian pointed out and hoped that it would further go down in the next few days.

Listing out the steps being taken by the government in containing the spread of COVID-19, the Minister recalled Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s visit to the ICU of a hospital in Coimbatore to boost the confidence of health workers fighting the pandemic. Mr. Subramanian was replying to AIADMK legislator C. Vijayabaskar (Viralimalai), who raised the issue in the House.

Mr. Vijayabaskar, a former Health Minister, contended that the State government should keep ready at least 1 lakh beds anticipating the admission of child patients during the third COVID-19 wave, as they have not been vaccinated [there is no COVID-19 vaccine for children]. He also wanted mothers to be vaccinated on priority, as they are expected to accompany their children should the latter be infected during the third COVID-19 wave. Additional beds should be installed in special wards for children during the expected wave, he insisted.

The vaccination drive should also be improved across the State, and steps should also taken to remove vaccine hesitancy that was prevalent even among the educated, he said. He also warned that this was the time one needed to be careful, though relaxations were announced from the COVID-19 lockdown.

The government should categorise hospitals into three – non-COVID, COVID specials and those for post-COVID complications, Mr. Vijayabaskar said and pointed out that there were more patients with post-COVID complications than those with COVID-19. He wanted dedicated post-COVID-19 care T district-level hospitals.

He also sought to know whether the medical admissions this year would be through NEET or not. Mr. Vijayabaskar asked what was the DMK government’s stand on 7.5% reservation to students from government schools in medical admissions.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 5:06:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/steps-being-taken-to-face-third-covid-19-wave-says-tn-health-minister/article34901905.ece

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