Tamil Nadu has not relaxed the COVID-19 protocols when compared to other states and with the surge in new infections, all the existing standard operating procedures will be followed in schools with educational institutions set to reopen on Monday after being shut for summer vacation, Tamil Nadu Minister Ma Subramanian said.
The minister for health and family welfare on Sunday appealed to the people to adhere to COVID-19 behaviour in public places, including wearing a facial mask and maintaining social distancing, stating that 10 people have died across India due to coronavirus and it is needless to think that the country has come out of the pandemic.
After inspecting a vaccination camp in neighbouring Avadi as part of the health department’s initiative to hold mass vaccination exercise across the state on Sunday, Subramanian said though there has been a decline in new coronavirus cases, the Tamil Nadu government did not lift the relaxations while certain states announced some easing of restrictions following the COVID-19 protocols.
“With schools set to resume tomorrow (after shutting for summer vacation) in Tamil Nadu, all the existing COVID-19 protocols will be followed…,” he told reporters responding to a query.
Tamil Nadu, after reporting a decline in new coronavirus infections, has been witnessing a surge in cases over the last week and as on Saturday 217 people have tested positive, pushing the tally to 34,57,133 till date in the state.
On the mass vaccination exercise being held today, he said it was the 30th drive conducted by the health department and over two lakh people have been roped in to administer the shots to eligible persons.
“In the 29 mega vaccination camps conducted by the health department, 4.30 crore people have been benefitted. Today, we are holding the 30th mega vaccination camp. Across Tamil Nadu, 11.19 crore people have received the doses. Nearly 93.91 per cent of people have been administered with the first dose while 83.11 per cent second dose,” he said.
Subramanian said about 42.54 lakh people were yet to receive their first dose of vaccines while 1.21 crore people have not got their second dose. “The health department is targeting those people who are eligible and not yet received the doses, by collecting their data…,” he said.
To a query, he said Corbevax vaccines for 12-14 year olds are being administered regularly and with reopening of schools from Monday, this exercise would continue. “The students who have completed 29 days after receiving the first dosage will be administered with second dose,” he said.
The minister appealed members of the public, especially those above the age of 60 years, and those ailing with comorbidity to receive the booster dose as vaccination is the only defence mechanism to stay safe against COVID-19.