Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu to intensify screening at airports

CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU,12/11/2021: International air passengers waiting to get Covid-19 Rapid PCR Testing at Chennai International Airport on Friday after heavy rain.Photo: Velankanni Raj B/The Hindu  

With the Union Health Ministry issuing an alert on the risk posed by a COVID-19 variant, first detected in South Africa, the State’s Health Department has decided to intensify screening at airports.

Health Minister Ma. Subramanian told reporters on Friday that based on the directive from the Union Ministry, the Health Secretary had issued instructions to all Collectors. “The Union Health Ministry had laid down guidelines on the testing of travellers from certain countries and COVID-19 protocols. We will intensify the measures and screen travellers from countries such as South Africa and Hong Kong and follow guidelines, including for quarantine,” he said.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan added that Tamil Nadu was the first to make RT-PCR negative reports mandatory for travellers from any country.

“For some countries, we brought in testing on arrival. This already includes travellers from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong. As per the directive on testing travellers transiting through these countries, we will tighten RT-PCR testing through the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine,” he said.

Countries such as Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Singapore are already included.

New recruitment

A total of 7,296 posts — 4,848 of nurses and 2,448 health inspectors — are being created for Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam. These posts will be filled soon, the Health Minister said.

In the last one-and-a-half years, over 12,000 staff, recruited on a temporary basis, have been working in COVID-19 management. Of them, 4,570 are nurses and 1,646 health inspectors. A small number of them were recruited through the Medical Services Recruitment Board and on compassionate grounds.

Though their term ended, the Chief Minister has extended their work period till December, he said, adding that it was not possible to regularise all of them.

“However, on a humanitarian basis, we will grant 20 marks to those who worked during COVID-19, while recruiting for the 7,296 posts. They will be marked based on parameters such as diploma or degree, place of work and residence,” the Health Minister explained.

The recruitment will be conducted through the district health societies, he said.

Treating the injured

The State Government’s new initiative, ‘Nammai Kaakkum 48’, to cater to people injured in accidents, will be launched in 609 hospitals — 204 government facilities and 405 private ones — situated along the highways, by December 15. He said 500 places where accidents occurred frequently had been identified.

The number of fully equipped ambulances to cater to emergency cases will be increased from 124 to 300, he said.

A legislation to provide medical services in emergency cases will be tabled during the next Assembly session, and it will cover people, irrespective of the districts and States they are from, Mr. Subramanian said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 6:03:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-to-intensify-screening-at-airports/article37712428.ece

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