CHENNAI: On the day Tamil Nadu crossed a grim milestone of 2 lakh Covid-19 cases, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said that government hospitals across the State will be augmented with more oxygen support systems, which are vital in treating severely infected patients.
The State reported 6,988 fresh cases and 89 deaths on the day, driving up the tally to 2,06,737 and the toll to 3,409. Meanwhile, 7,758 people were discharged on the day, taking the total figure to 1,51,055. This is almost three times higher than the 52,273 active cases in the State.
Addressing media persons at the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital here, the health minister said oxygen support systems would be set up at all government hospitals in the State since such a facility is vital for treating Covid patients.
“Government Omandurar Hospital will have 250 more beds equipped with oxygen cylinders,’’ he said. The minister had earlier inspected the ongoing works to set up cylinders at the hospital. Vijayabaskar further said 2,176 pregnant women have been tested positive in the State so far. “Among them, 1515 were discharged. There is zero mortality rate in newborns,’’ he said.
The health minister also met the new mothers at the hospital and enquired about their health. “Apart from pregnancy, the mothers may have had severe stress due to the Covid. Doctors helped them well with regular counselling,’’ Vijayabaksar added. He further said active cases in the State have come down from 42 per cent in June to 26 per cent now. “Hospital occupancies are just around 50 to 60 per cent now,’’ he said.
The minister said that drugs like Remdesivir have been very effective in curing patients, as it helped prevent the virus onslaught on the lungs. “Remdesivir has been a life-saving drug. We have adequate stock and even private hospitals are purchasing it from the government,’’ he said. On Saturday, 64,315 samples were tested, taking the total tests to 22,87,334. Chennai’s daily tally remained almost steady with 1,329 cases on Saturday.
In another development, more than 300 Covid-19 patients who are quarantined at a care centre in Kallakurichi district came out on road and staged a blockade, demanding better amenities. Traffic was affected for more than an hour even as officials tried to pacify the protesters.