AIADMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said on Tuesday that the state should be guarded against a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, citing AIIMS Delhi Director Randeep Gulerias warning on the same.

Responding to the thanksgiving motion of the Governor’s address in the state Assembly, Vijayabaskar said, “Whether the third wave comes or not, let us be ready with strengthened infrastructure and recruitment of doctors and nurses.

“We have 1.71 crore non-vaccinated people below the age of 18 years and even if we consider 10 per cent will land in hospitals, we will have to encounter 2 lakh pediatric cases. We need a minimum of 1 lakh beds for children and an equal number for their parents.”

Tamil Nadu Health Minister and DMK leader Ma Subramanian intervened and said that the state government is prepared for any eventuality and that the health infrastructure has been ramped up by the government in the past month.

“We have added 79,618 beds in the past 45 days, a 250-bed pediatric ward has come up in the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children in Egmore, Chennai. Covid cases came down to 7,427 on Monday and the infection will be put to an end in a few days, not in weeks,” Subramanian said.

He also said that the state has commenced receiving vaccine doses from the Centre starting Tuesday, after it reverted to the centralised procurement policy due to the pressure from Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

“The state government has received 1.29 crore vaccine doses so far, benefitting 1.24 crore people. We need 10 crore more vaccines. The awareness created by the government resulted in people waiting for more than four hours in queues across the state to get vaccinated,” Subramanian said.

–IANS

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