A total of 25 patients have tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the overall tally to 1,267 patients in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said in Chennai. Thursday was the third consecutive day the State reported less than 40 new COVID-19 positive cases in a day.
At a press conference in the Secretariat, Mr. Palaniswami maintained that Tamil Nadu was still in Stage-II (local transmission) and hoped that the COVID-19 positive cases would be on the decline. “In the next few days, positive cases would become negative cases and we hope to see them return home,” he said.
The spread of the pandemic “has reduced” due to the efforts taken by the State government, he said but added that COVID-19 continued to be a “major challenge” for Tamil Nadu.
A total of 15 persons have died due to COVID-19 so far in the State. Tamil Nadu could undertake 5,590 tests through 27 testing labs a day, he said.
Asked about the delay in procuring rapid test kits from China, Mr. Palaniswami said his government has been continuously taking efforts to get them. “None of the States in the country has received the kits so far.” Mr. Palaniswami also rejected the Opposition parties’ claim that the State government had not prepared to procure medical equipment well in advance. He said orders have been placed to procure over 5 lakh rapid test kits but the State had sufficient stock of various medical equipment.
A committee has been constituted to look into the possibility of commencing operations of various industries after April 20 and the committee would obtain the Centre’s permission in this regard. Senior IAS officer and Finance Secretary S. Krishnan would head the Committee, he said.
Listing out various efforts being taken by his government, he also rejected the claim of the Opposition parties that there was a rise in the prices of vegetables. “The State government has kept the prices of vegetables within control for the benefit of the needy and the poor,” Mr. Palaniswami assured.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Palaniswami chaired a video conference meeting with District Collectors to take stock of the situation.
Hitting out at DMK president M.K. Stalin for criticism against the AIADMK government, Mr. Palaniswami said the Opposition leader could not accept that the State government has been efficiently fighting the COVID-19.
Mr. Palaniswami questioned what steps were taken by the 38 Lok Sabha MPs of the DMK and its fraternal parties in getting financial assistance from the Centre.
Unlike other States where there was political unity in the face of adversity, “only in Tamil Nadu, there are parties that do not cooperate with the government even during these times,” he claimed.