CHENNAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday expressed serious concern over people violating lockdown norms and treating it "as a holiday period". "They should understand that this is the Corona period," he emphasised.
Chairing the meeting of the representatives of the legislature parties at the secretariat, the Chief Minister said, "Breaking the chain of Covid transmission is the key objective and for that reason only complete lockdown was enforced. We have lost many invaluable lives since the Corona infection started. Many frontline staff including doctors have lost their lives while being engaged in the prevention of this infection. We have to put a full stop to this."
Expressing serious concern over people moving around unnecessarily even during the complete lockdown by using the concessions granted to help them buy essential commodities, the Chief Minister said, "This infection can be contained only when people take a vow that they would not either contract this infection from others and also they would not spread this to other people."
Admitting that school and college students have been facing a big crisis ever since Covid arrived, the Chief Minister said they cannot remain closed forever and very soon, the government has to provide education and a good future for the students.
The Chief Minister said the health experts committee and the district administrations had emphasised the need to enforce the lockdown without any concessions. At the health experts committee meeting, Stalin referred to reports that the Corona infections are likely to be at their peak in Tamil Nadu by the end of May or at the beginning of June, and said there was a need to take immediate steps to face this.
Explaining the steps taken for procuring life-saving drugs and equipment during this period, the CM said, "On the request of Tamil Nadu government, the Union government has increased oxygen allocation to 519 metric tonnes. Besides, 100 metric tonnes of oxygen is being received from Odisha and two IAS officers have been stationed in that state to ensure supply. Also, oxygen is being procured by air and train services. The Tamil Nadu government has held talks with the Maharashtra government for getting 900 metric tonnes of oxygen. An IAS officer is stationed at Maharashtra to ensure this supply."
The Chief Minister said the Industries department has made arrangements for importing life-saving medical equipment like oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, flow meters, cryogenic Iso tanks etc.
Steps are being taken to procure 2,180 oxygen cylinders from Singapore while the CII is taking steps to procure 1,000 oxygen cylinders. Also, arrangements are being made to procure oxygen from South Korea, Singapore and other countries.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that since there was a delay in getting oxygen from Odisha, he had requested Union Minister Piyush Goyal to allocate 900 metric tonnes of oxygen in addition to the regular supply and the Union Minister has agreed to this.