CHENNAI: Amid rising cases of Covid-19 and tardy implementation of the lockdown measures in force across Tamil Nadu from May 10 to May 24, an all-party meeting chaired by chief minister M K Stalin on Thursday resolved to intensify the existing restrictions and constitute an all-party legislators’ committee to offer suggestions on improving the Covid guidelines.
The CM also said that a meeting of a fee fixation committee will be held soon to fix the cost for RT-PCR tests conducted by private laboratories. Five resolutions were passed at the three-hour long meeting in which members of the DMK, the AIADMK, and their allies took part. “The meeting resolved to intensify the existing restrictions as the state has the responsibility to protect lives,” a resolution said. The parties also decided to engage wholeheartedly in Covid relief work and advise people to strictly adhere to guidelines.
The DMK government, which organized its first all-party meeting after assuming power, had pressed the previous AIADMK government for such a meeting when it was in the opposition.
Chief minister Stalin detailed the steps taken by his government to prevent deaths and control infection. “The government had extended certain relaxations to ensure that the lockdown did not affect people’s livelihood. But a few make use of the relaxations to violate lockdown measures. Hence, you offer suggestions whether to continue with the relaxations or change them,” the CM said.
The state government would float global tenders to inoculate those in the age group of 18-45, the CM said, and added that efforts were being taken by the state to source oxygen from states like Odisha and West Bengal. Pressure exerted on the Centre had yielded results, he said. “The government has been taking several measures to increase oxygen stock. I will announce them in the next few days,” Stalin said. Because of the efforts taken by the government, TN got oxygen concentrators from Singapore and Taiwan, several industrial establishments, and also from donors.
The CM said a centralized command centre (war room) was set up to augment bed facilities and availability of oxygen and ambulances all through the day. A four-member committee of IAS officers led by industries secretary was also set up to monitor oxygen storage and ensure supply of the gas from other states and industrial establishments. Since a large number of people were getting infected across districts, the demand for oxygen beds was on the rise. In anticipation, new bed facilities were being created at several places, including Chennai Trade Centre in Nandambakkam. The anti-viral drug, remdesivir, was being distributed in other parts of the state as well. A separate siddha covid care centre has been opened in Tambaram, he said.