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Tamil Nadu govt orders 1.5 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines

The government said the doses would be sourced by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) and would be provided free of cost.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
Updated: April 28, 2021 2:22:42 pm
Tamil nadu, Tamil nadu vaccination roll out, Tamil nadu vaccine shortage, TN govt, TN covid cases, Chennai news, Indian expressThe Tamil Nadu government was also in disagreement with Centre in the differential pricing mechanism in the vaccine procurement. (PTI/File)

The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday issued orders to procure 1.50 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines, days ahead of the next phase of vaccination in India on May 1 for people between the ages of 18 and 44.

The government said the doses would be sourced by the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) and would be provided free of cost.

The government has vaccinated 55.51 lakh people till April 27. “From May 1, as it was announced earlier by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, the vaccines would be provided free of cost to people in the age group of 18-45,” a press release stated.

The announcement comes a couple of days after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding measures from the Centre “to procure and supply the entire required quantity of vaccine for administering all groups including those in the age group of 18 to 44”.

“Since budgetary provision of Rs 35,000 crore has been made in the budget estimates for 2021-22 for the Covid-19 vaccination programme, states have a legitimate expectation that the Government of India would supply the Covid-19 vaccines for phase 3,” the CM said.

A week ago, Palaniswami had requested the Centre to send 20 lakh vaccines in advance to ensure that the vaccination drive was not affected.

Meanwhile, with the demand for beds with oxygen lines increasing due to the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases, the Public Works Department (PWD) has embarked on a project to provide oxygen pipelines for additional 12,370 beds across the state. This includes 2,895 beds with oxygen lines in Chennai, which has been reporting the most number of cases across the 37 districts.

As per the release from PWD, additional facilities would be created at all government medical college hospitals, district headquarters and taluk hospitals across the state.

Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said 40 per cent of the beds at government hospitals were vacant, and that it had tied up with private medical college hospitals in Chennai suburbs, to accommodate the virus-infected.

(With inputs from PTI)

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