TN government advises districts to step up Covid vaccination

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Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has advised the administration in all the districts to step up the COVID-19 vaccination programme as the percentage-wise vaccination for the second dose, in comparison to the state’s population, is below the national average, according to a top official.

In a message to the district collectors, health department’s Principal Secretary J Radhakrishnan said the health teams in the districts were instructed on the need to focus on increasing the number of daily vaccinations after identifying the people who are yet to receive the first dose and those eligible for the second dose of the vaccine.

“Pending of second dose is increasing exponentially (at about 61 lakh),” he said in the message.

“Collectors may note that more than the absolute numbers achieved per day district wise, the real issue is that the percentage in comparison is yet to be covered for the first and the second dose, for which Tamil Nadu is still below the national average”, Radhakrishnan said.

A new variant of COVID-19 under investigation, which was allegedly responsible for a rapid spread of the disease in the UK, has been identified, he said.

“Considering the relaxations, strict follow up of standard operating procedures and wearing a mask is important,” Radhakrishnan said.

With the onset of northeast monsoon, the number of dengue cases is increasing in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Salem, and intense mosquito breeding source reduction should be carried out, he said.

The next two months would determine how the public health challenges get tackled, the official said, adding, “After such effective work in disease control, let us not give away the gains made.”

With 1,112 fresh cases, Tamil Nadu’s COVID-19 tally climbed to 26,96,328 on Monday, while the death toll due to the viral disease shot up to 36,033 with 14 more fatalities, the health department said.

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