Updated: April 11, 2021 7:36:54 am
Amid a surge in Covid cases across the state, Tamil Nadu’s health machinery is again on alert with the state government considering strict measures .
Daily cases rose from 4,276 on Thursday to 5,963 on Saturday in Tamil Nadu — 23 deaths and 37,673 active cases were reported on Saturday. So far, 12,886 Covid-related deaths have been reported in the state.
Even as many private hospitals reported a shortage of drugs for Covid treatment, the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation confirmed that they were closely watching the situation and that adequate stock has been ensured in all government hospitals, which are handling the majority of cases.
In Chennai alone, there were 1,977 fresh cases and 12 deaths on Saturday with a total 12,943 active cases. Other than Chennai, Coimbatore (3,393) and Chengalpattu (3,075) had the highest number of active cases. Cuddalore (578), Kancheepuram (778), Madurai (897), Nagapattinam (702), Salem (565), Thanjavur (872), Trichy (1085) and Thiruvallur (1,310) near Chennai were among districts reporting highest number of active cases.
G Prakash, Chennai city corporation commissioner said they have already deployed volunteers across the city to visit each household as part of Covid surveillance, and that each volunteer will visit 250 households over two days.
While the state reported an adequate stock of vaccines, the government was worried about the poor public response to vaccination drives. While Ranipet recorded the highest vaccination rate at 56 per cent for those aged above 45 years, Tirupur (2.9), Thiurpathur (3.1), Madurai (3.4), Kancheepuram (3.6) were among districts that reported the lowest vaccination rates. Coimbatore and Trichy reported only 12.4 per cent and 21.9 per cent, respectively.
The practice of wearing masks has also come down gradually in Chennai city, according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Epidemiology after October 2020. The study, based on nearly 4,500 samples, found that 67 per cent of people in slums and 58 per cent in other urban areas have not been wearing masks.
T Jacob John, renowned virologist and former professor of Christian Medical College, Vellore, said serious measures were required to ward off the scare about vaccines. “My house help was telling me that there were reports of deaths in the newspaper due to the vaccination. People are scared… Nobody seems to be explaining deaths surrounding the vaccination drive. This may be the biggest challenge at this stage,” he said, responding to the poor response to vaccination drives.
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