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‘T.N. prepared for third wave of COVID-19’

Daily medical oxygen stock increased to 1,000 tonnes, says Health Minister

Tamil Nadu has improved its daily medical oxygen stock to 1,000 tonnes as part of its preparedness for the third wave of COVID-19, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ma. Subramanian said on Wednesday.

Mr. Subramanian told The Hindu the requirement for medical oxygen was a major problem that the Health Department faced during the peak of the second wave in Tamil Nadu.

“Our daily medical oxygen stock was 230 tonnes during crucial times of the second wave, which we now have increased to 1,000 tonnes. The requirement went up to 530 tonnes a day during the peak of the second wave. With our capacity expanded to 1,000 tonnes, we do not anticipate a shortage if a third wave comes,” he said.

One lakh additional beds and special wards for children at the district headquarters hospitals and all medical college hospitals are among the preparedness the State has taken. In addition, 2,100 doctors and 6,300 doctors were recruited, he said.

The Minister said that the two special schemes of the government namely Varumun Kappom and Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam would not have an impact on the functioning of hospitals. “Under Varumun Kappom, 1,250 medical camps will be held across the State in a year. Each block will have three camps a year. This will not have an impact on the functioning of hospitals,” he said.

According to him, Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam does not require additional doctors. To improve the scheme, the government will appoint 4,900 nurses soon. Those who have worked for the Department under various schemes will have priority, he said.

Mr. Subramanian said that the public should strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety norms during the festival season and curb further spread of the disease.

On the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Mr. Subramanian said that the DMK had not deviated from its election promise. “We [DMK] did not say that we will scrap NEET within 12 or 24 hours of coming to power. As promised, a Bill was passed against NEET. Now the government will work hard to get President’s assent to the Bill. In addition, Mr. Stalin wrote to 12 Chief Ministers and the Justice A.K. Rajan committee report was translated into seven languages. We are continuing our efforts,” he said.

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