Tiruapttur Collector MP Sivan Arul who paid a courtesy call on Irrigation Minister Duraimurugan and Handlooms Minister R Ganhi at the Vellore circuit house on Friday evening to invite them to the district for official functions on Saturday put forward this request when the ministers asked what was needed for the district.
Not wanting to openly state that the district faced an acute shortage of doctors, he said opening a medical college would ensure that there were enough doctors to meet all coronvirus related needs.
Officials present during the meet said both ministers did not say no but accepted that such a need existed.
The ministers were invited to inaugurate 100-bed COVID Care Centres each at a private school in Vaniyambadi and at the Sacred Heart college in Tirupattur. Though COVID positive cases were increasing, vaccine hesitancy still played a major role in poor turnout for vaccinations, officials said.
When asked about this Sivan Arul said, “we had reached a high of 5400 vaccinations a day when the day after the death of actor Vivek, the figures slumped and today we find it difficult to reach even four figures.” As the district has many villages in hilly and forested areas, “encouraging such people to take the vaccine is a herculean task” aver health officials.
Hence the district head has built up contact persons — usually older generation leftists — in such areas who when approached do the needful to bring people to the district HQ.
“It was the lack of such a pointsman at Madakadappa which resulted in villagers fleeing into the jungles and fields to escape contact and secondary tracing from the 24 who tested positive for the virus recently,” officials said.