Mask mandate in Tamil Nadu if daily Covid-19 cases cross 500: Health Minister

He added that people need not get panicky over reports about the spread of new Covid-19 variants XBB1.16 and BA2 as that the government is fully prepared to face any scenario. 
Health Minister M Subramanian. (File Photo)
Health Minister M Subramanian. (File Photo)

CHENNAI:  Health Minister M Subramanian on Tuesday said that if the daily number of new Covid-19 cases crosses 500 or 1,000, wearing masks can be mandatory across the state in places where people gather in large numbers like social functions, political events etc. He added that people need not get panicky over reports about the spread of new Covid-19 variants XBB1.16 and BA2 as that the government is fully prepared to face any scenario. 

“Of the five deaths that occurred recently due to coronavirus, four were due to comorbidities and not due to the virus. During the second wave, the medical oxygen stock stood at 230 tonnes and due to the steps taken by Chief Minister MK Stalin, we now have 2,067 tonnes of oxygen to face any eventuality,” the Minister said.  

Besides, 1.48 lakh beds were kept ready for treating those affected by Covid-19 during the second wave and now we have 64,287 beds ready.  Within 24 hours, the government can increase this strength to 1.48 lakh again.

The Minister also clarified that the impact of the recent variant of Covid-19 was not severe but less moderate. The symptoms include throat pain, cold, cough, fever and body pain. Besides, there was no need for treating people in ICUs. There have been no clusters but only individuals are affected, he added.  
Raising the issue, opposition leader Edappadi K Palaniswami said the daily cases were nearing 400 and in neighbouring Kerala, the new Covid-19 variant was spreading fast.

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