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Not hiding COVID deaths, says Health Minister
Pointing out that the State government was not providing compensation to the families of those who died of COVID-19, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said it served no purpose for the department to hide the actual number of deaths due to the infection.
“We are not giving any compensation for COVID deaths. Because there is no monetary benefit to the government, there is no reason to hide the actual number of deaths,” he said on Friday, denying the allegation of fudging death data raised by the opposition and activists.
Noting that many have said children could be at a higher risk in the event of a third wave, Subramanian said the State was prepared to tackle the wave and protect the children from it.
“Children COVID care centres were opened in Thanjavur, Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam, and other districts will also have them in the coming days. These centres will have ventilator facility. At the Institute of Child Health, 250 beds have been made available while separate wards for children are being readied at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Omandurar Government General Hospital, Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, Government Stanley Medical College Hospital and Royapettah Government Hospital. They will be opened in the next two days,” he said.
The Saidapet Government Hospital would receive an oxygen production plant in the next few days, he said, adding that 900 tonnes of oxygen was available in the State at present. “During the second wave when the new cases rose to more than 36,000, the oxygen requirement increased from 236 tonnes to 450 tonnes. The government made arrangements to meet the need to avoid deaths due to oxygen unavailability,” Subramanian said.
There were 2,131 mucormycosis cases in Tamil Nadu, he said, adding that the task force constituted the study the situation would submit its report in the next few days. Also, he added, there were no cases of green fungus reported in the State so far.