The Centre should fund 50 per cent of the cost of RT-PCR tests done for detecting COVID-19 and also finance the procurement of high-end ventilators, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Tuesday.
Raising the demand with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a virtual meet Modi held with chief ministers of ten states on COVID-19, Palaniswami also said a proactive strategy has led to a slide in new positive cases in Chennai and the model was being replicated in other parts of the state.
Pointing to aggressive, targeted testing, he said that Tamil Nadu was conducting the maximum number of RT-PCR (Reverse transcriptase-Polymerase chain reaction) tests in the country. “Tamil Nadu presently has 130 labs for COVID testing with 61 government and 69 private labs, with an average testing capacity of 65,000 tests per day. These tests cost nearly five crore rupees a day. I request the government of India to fund 50 per cent of the cost of the PCR tests from the PM CARES fund,” he said.
“Experts treating critically ill COVID patients have requested for a higher degree of ventilatory care,” he said and urged the Centre to “provide funds to Tamil Nadu for procuring high-end ventilators.” EPS said, “So far eight lakh RT-PCR tests have been done (in Chennai). With the help of 10,000 field workers, 93 NGOs and 2,700 volunteers, symptomatic cases are being identified and vulnerable people are being provided necessary support.”
Tamil Nadu received Rs 512.64 crore from Centre in two tranches under the Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness package out of an envelope of Rs 712.64 crore allotted to the state. EPS wanted this package to be stepped up to Rs 3,000 crore. “Both Central and State tax revenue will fall short of the budget estimates. To make up for the shortfall, Tamil Nadu may be allocated Rs 9,000 crore special grant to combat COVID-19 and its after effects on the states economy,” he said.
Palaniswami also informed Modi that the state has fully exhausted the State Disaster Response and Mitigation Fund, and urged an ad-hoc grant of Rs 1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Force fund.
One more lab approved for COVID-19 testing
One more lab in Tamil Nadu has been approved for COVID-19 testing in the state. Vivekanandha Medical Care Hospital in Tiruchengodu was approved for testing on Tuesday. With this, the number of labs for COVID-19 testing in the state has gone up to 131 (61 government and 70 private labs).
Another legislator tests positive
Congress MP from Kanyakumari, Vasanthakumar tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The MP has been admitted to Apollo Hospital in Chennai for treatment.
With this, a total of 29 legislators have tested positive in the state till now – 11 from AIADMK, 14 from DMK, two from AICC, one from CPI and one from Mukkulathor Pulipadai.
While two legislators have recovered, one DMK MLA succumbed to the virus in May. Among the infected legislators, four of them are currently serving in the Tamil Nadu Cabinet.
TN records 5834 fresh cases, Chennai records 986 cases
Tamil Nadu recorded 5834 positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state tally to 3,08,649. Among these, Chennai reported 986 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 1,11,054. Chennai recorded less than 1000 cases for the fifth consecutive day.
Tamil Nadu recorded 118 deaths on Tuesday, putting the state toll at 5159. 107 of them had succumbed due to comorbidities.
As of Tuesday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 52,810. Till date, 1,86,156 males, 1,22,464 females and 29 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in the state.
According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 33,60,450 samples from the state have been sent for testing till date, with 67,492 samples having been sent today.
The state discharged 6005 patients following treatment today, putting the total number of recoveries at 2,50,680.
Besides Chennai, 388 cases were reported in Chengalpattu, 330 in Kancheepuram, 362 in Thiruvallur, 86 in Ariyalur, 324 in Coimbatore, 281 in Cuddalore, eight in Dharmapuri, 150 in Dindigul, 17 in Erode, 74 in Kallakurichi, 192 in Kanyakumari, 31 in Karur, 43 in Krishnagiri, 90 in Madurai, 53 in Nagapattinam, 10 in Namakkal, five in Nilgiris, 35 in Perambalur, 64 in Pudukottai, 36 in Ramanathapuram, 333 in Ranipet, 206 in Salem, 55 in Sivagangai, 136 in Tenkasi, 125 in Thanjavur, 297 in Theni, 37 in Thirupathur, 161 in Thiruvannamalai, 88 in Thiruvarur, 110 in Thoothukudi, 136 in Tirunelveli, 37 in Tiruppur, 86 in Trichy, 181 in Vellore, 91 in Villupuram and 180 in Virudhunagar districts.
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