Separate counters will now be set up for persons with disabilities at COVID-19 vaccination centres in Chennai. A notification from the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine to all deputy directors of the health services and the Chennai City medical officers at the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has been issued in this regard on May 16, Sunday. The notification comes with a set of instructions for the vaccination of persons with disabilities who are coming to the centres that fall under GCC limits.
In case it is not possible to set up a separate counter, the notification directs that specific instructions must be given to the vaccination centre to provide first priority to people with disabilities. This arrangement will have to be made evident and visible at every centre so that they are not made to wait for COVID-19 vaccination in the general queue. Such counters will have ramps, slopes, etc. to facilitate easier movement.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government on Sunday announced that it will be streamlining the sale of Remdesivir. The government has made plans of launching a web portal to take requests for the drug, used during treatment for COVID-19, directly from private hospitals. Once the medicine is alloted, a representative from the hospital can collect it. This drug can only be given to patients on oxygen support. Remdesivir has been in high demand in the state despite several doctors, experts and even government authorities clarifying that it is not a life-saving drug.
The state has also floated tenders to procure 3.5 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Rs 2 crore to be administered to those that fall in the 18 to 44 age group. As of May 14, the state has vaccinated only 68,78,742 persons. Tamil Nadu, falls towards the end of the countryâ€™s state-wise vaccination statistics, having covered only 14% of its population above the age of 45.