To ramp up vaccination drive, TN govt deploys medical teams in all villages

Ahead of Deepavali, Health Minister Ma Subramanian also visited market areas in Chennai with health officials following reports of reluctance on the part of the public to wear masks and adhere to social distancing norms.

In a bid to ensure that Tamil Nadu becomes the first state in the country to vaccinate 100 per cent of its population with the first dose by the end of November, the state health department has now deployed medical teams to administer Covid-19 vaccines in all villages across the state.

The team comprising a doctor, nurse and healthcare personnel will visit the villages starting Tuesday. District officials will assist the team in making sure that the eligible population is inoculated.

Health Minister Ma Subramanian said there are around 12,525 panchayats in Tamil Nadu and each has about six to seven hamlet villages around itself. About 80,000 villages are set to be covered under the initiative.

“In earlier mega camps we conducted, we used to achieve five lakh vaccinations, but now it has slowed down. To address this issue, based on the directions of the Chief Minister, we are going to visit each village and conduct vaccination drives. We will collect data on the total population of the village and identify candidates eligible for vaccination. Those who haven’t been vaccinated will be notified and we will inoculate the persons in their village itself,” the minister said Monday.

He said a total of 63 lakh people have been administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 50 lakh people have received the second shot.

Later in the day, the minister visited the buzzing Ranganathan Street in T Nagar and urged people to follow Covid safety guidelines issued by the government. Ahead of Deepavali, people flocked to Chennai for shopping. The minister, accompanied by the Health Secretary and other Health Department officials, visited the market area following reports of reluctance on the part of the public to wear masks and adhere to social distancing norms.

Subramanian said Covid-19 cases increased in Kerala and West Bengal after festivals like Onam and Durga Puja, and hence people need to be cautious and follow safety guidelines to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Police officials have been deployed in large numbers to manage the crowd. A dedicated camp has also been set up for people to take Covid-19 tests, if required.

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