COVID-19: TN govt doctors oppose diversion of staff to Chennai, warn of flash strike

The state government has decided to divert 300 doctors to Chennai from districts with fewer COVID-19 cases.
Medical staff being recruited for Covid management
Medical staff being recruited for Covid management
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Doctors in Tamil Nadu have opposed the state government’s decision to divert 300 government doctors from other districts to Chennai. With COVID-19 cases rising in Chennai, as part of precautionary measures, the Director of Medical Education had said that 300 doctors working under the Directorate of Medical and Rural Health Services were being deputed to Directorate of Medical Education in Chennai, The Hindu had reported. The Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association (TNGDA) has opposed the “inhumane diversion” of doctors for COVID-19 duties in Chennai. The association has passed a resolution that it will boycott the diversion orders, and stated that the doctors will go on flash agitation if they are forcefully diverted. 

The TNGDA has demanded that all diverted doctors be asked to continue at their present station, and suggested that only those doctors willing to accept the diversion be asked to join duties in Chennai. It also suggested that as an alternative, “Indian Medicine” doctors be diverted instead, or private medical colleges and hospitals be deployed to tackle the rising cases. 

As part of additional safety measures, COVID-19 care centres are also being readied once again, to take care of relatively less serious COVID-19 patients in need of monitoring and isolation. Corporation officials in Chennai have also reintroduced door-to-door fever surveillance, according to reports. On Saturday, the state government ordered schools to stop physical classes for students in classes 9, 10 and 11 from Monday, while allowing classes for class 12 students in view of preparations for upcoming board exams. 

On Saturday alone, 458 COVID-19 cases were registered in Chennai alone, while a total of 1,240 persons tested positive in Tamil Nadu. Chennai was followed by Chengalpattu district with the second highest cases (134), and Coimbatore had the third highest number of new cases (103) recorded on Saturday. 

As of March 19, a total of 20,88,316 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Tamil Nadu, of which 4,10,949 people vaccinated were in Chennai. 

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