Pongal fallout: TN Minister warns of fast spread of Covid

Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Thursday said that after the Pongal festival and movement of people from cities to villages, the possibilities of Covid-19 spread is high.

He also called upon the people to wear masks, ensure physical distancing and sanitise and wash hands regularly to keep the virus at bay.

The Minister told IANS that the state already has 3,787 containment zones, and Chennai alone has 9,237 streets with active cases.

Even though the Test positivity rate (TPR) of the state is only 20 per cent, people must be cautious of the spread as the neighbouring states like Kerala and Karnataka are recording higher number of cases and TPR.

He said that the only solution is to adhere to Covid appropriate behaviour.

If there are any attempts of private hospitals fleecing money by admitting patients with minor symptoms to hospitals for hefty charges, complaints can be lodged on the state medical helpline 104, the Minister added.

Subramanian said that after such a complaint is lodged, a team from the Directorate of Medical Services would reach the hospital, conduct an inquiry and take action if necessary.

During the second wave of the pandemic, action was taken against 40 private hospitals for fleecing the patients in the name of Covid. He, however, said that during the present Covid wave, no such complaints have been lodged to date.

Subramanian said that the number of Covid cases would increase further as more than 8 lakh people had traveled from Chennai to various villages and this could definitely trigger the spread.

The minister said that more than 1.25 lakh oxygen beds are ready in the state and informed the people that the state government and the health department were prepared to tackle the infection and its spread.

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