PUDUCHERRY: The Puducherry administration will seek Rs 25 crore from the central government to meet the requirements for combating COVID-19 in the Union territory, Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao said here on Tuesday.
In a video clip sent to the media here, the minister said the health department requires Rs 50 crore but the Puducherry government had allocated Rs 25 crore. The government is taking measures to procure equipment, medicines, ambulances and other facilities for which Rs 25 crore released by the Puducherry government is inadequate. Hence, the administration will seek a sum of Rs 25 crore from the central government, he said, pointing out that the Centre had released Rs 25 crore to Arunachal Pradesh for COVID work while providing only Rs 3.06 crore to the UT.
To chalk out future plans to contain COVID-19, the meeting of the Puducherry State Disaster Management Authority will be held on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister V Narayanasamy for which leaders of legislature parties and parliament members have been invited.
He said that a total lockdown as in Yanam region is being contemplated but at the same time the poor who will be without earnings need to be provided free rice at the earliest. He requested the Chief Minister not to involve teachers in the distribution of free rice but to distribute it through PDS shops, which could be completed in five days.
The Minister, who visited the COVID wards in the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (IGMCRI) in a PPE suit and interacted with patients, said they told him that good care and food is being provided to them. For one or two isolated cases of lapses, it is not proper to blame the whole institution, he said, appreciating the services of doctors and nurses who wear PPE suits for six hours.
He said that additional sanitary workers have been deployed for all wards in the three floors of the IGMCRI and now the complaints of unclean toilets and bathrooms have been addressed.
The quality of food for COVID-19 patients is being enhanced Currently the government is providing food at the rate of Rs 230 per patient which will be enhanced to Rs 300 per patient to serve nutritious food to them. More eggs and other nutritious products would be included in the diet.
Further, the minister said that more COVID-19 patients are symptomatic and need hospitalization. Hence he advised the health department to make a list of beds available the previous day, before the test results are known in the morning and not keep people who test positive waiting for admission. Patients should be admitted depending on the vacancy position, the COVID-19 symptoms and their state of health.