Palaniswami criticises TN Health Minister for not sending COVID-19 samples for Omicron confirmation

By Special Correspondent

AIADMK co-coordinator, Edappadi K Palaniswami, on Thursday criticised Health Minister Ma. Subramanian for his statement that the State government had stopped sending samples for Omicron confirmation to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.

In a statement, Mr. Palaniswami recalled that at the time of the outbreak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, when his party was in power, there was only one testing centre in the State which was at the King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Guindy. But by the end of April 2021, 265 testing centres had been set up. So, the State government should start taking steps for establishing testing centres for Omicron in every district. It was duty-bound to inform people regarding the prevalence of the disease and the number of people affected, he said.

The former Chief Minister observed that when the disease was fast spreading, the Health Minister should not have issued a statement stating that there was no need for a major lockdown. Demanding that the government be transparent with regard to the provision of data on the extent of prevalence of the disease, Mr. Palaniswami added that it was the primary duty of the government to provide proper treatment to those hit by the disease and have them cured.

Continue with disinfection measures, says Panneerselvam

In a separate statement, AIADMK coordinator, O. Panneerselvam complained that there had been reports that the spraying of disinfectants and application of bleaching powder had not been carried out since the beginning of this year, even though the cases of patients were on the rise. Contrasting the present situation with the way the previous AIADMK regime had handled the situation by following standard operating procedures, he contended that the measures taken by his party, while in power, had helped contain the spread of the disease. The measures included the spraying of disinfectants at government offices on Saturdays and on buses of State transport corporations, besides supplying kabasura kudineer, a herbal concoction for boosting immunity, and tablets.

Pointing out that it took two to three days for getting reports of results on tests conducted by agencies of local bodies for COVID-19, Mr. Panneerselvam called for early preparation and presentation of the reports.

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