Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami said on Sunday that his Government had prevented community transmission of the covid virus so far through continuous lockdown for the past two months. However, he said the final battle against covid could be won only with people’s cooperation.
Stung by the criticism of the Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin that the Government had failed to contain the epidemic as could be seen from the fact that Chennai alone has over 30,000 cases and 251 have died so far in the State, Palanisami said the case fatality rate (CFR) is the lowest in Tamil Nadu and the recovery rate is the highest.
In a lengthy statement, he said Tamil Nadu had 72 testing centres, the highest in the country and they were carrying out around 13,000 tests per day.
He also said the extensive tests revealed that 86 per cent of the people were asymptomatic. These silent carriers could be brought into the open only by doing more tests.
Listing the various measures taken since March like quarantining stranded Indians coming from abroad and from rest of India, he said that the extended lockdown period was used to ramp up health infrastructure. As a result, Tamil Nadu had upgraded 282 Government and private hospitals for exclusive treatment of Covid .
He said the Government had procured lakhs of face masks and personal protection equipment for health care personnel and conservancy staff.
He said to protect the people from economic hardship, the Government had declared Covid as a national disaster and released 4,333 crore for relief measures. They included a cash dole of 2,000 paid in the last two months to the poor and free supply of rice to all ration card holders.
He said in the current unlocking phase, the Government had lifted all curbs on transport of farm produce to help agriculturists. Similarly , the Government had given relief to over 35 lakh those in the unorganised sector like construction workers, hairdressers, auto drivers , temple priests, folk artists, hill tribes and so on.
Indirectly admitting that it will take a long time to flatten the curve, the Chief Minister said the final battle can be only if people cooperate by going out only if they must, wearing face masks and keeping social distance in public and by observing personal hygiene by washing hands frequently.