The number of those eligible for booster doses is expected to rise to 10 lakh by the end of this month, the Health minister said on Tuesday.

Covid-19 testing sampleIMAGE FOR REPRESENTATION/PTI
news Coronavirus Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 17:26

Special camps for administering COVID-19 booster doses in Tamil Nadu will be held every Thursday in the state, apart from the mega vaccination camps on Saturdays. This was announced by the state Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian, on Tuesday, January 18. He kick-started the vaccination drive for those aged above 60 at an apartment building in Saidapet and addressed the media.

“The Chief Minister kick-started the booster dose drive on January 10. So far, a total of 92,522 persons have been inoculated with the booster dose, as of last night, including 32,355 healthcare workers, 25,300 frontline workers and 34,867 persons aged above 60 years with comorbidities,” the minister said. 

This takes into account only those who got vaccinated before April of last year and have completed nine months after two doses of vaccination. The total number of eligible persons to receive a booster dose stands at 4,48,732. “However, this will be crossing 10 lakh before January month-end and it is essential to vaccinate all of them. So all booster COVID-19 vaccine special camps will be held on all Thursdays, similar to the camps held on Saturday. The mega vaccination camps will be held as usual,” he said.

Further, the minister added that the Thursday camps are to be held in 600 places all over the state, including 160 places in Chennai; 385 places in 385 panchayat unions; all hospitals in district headquarters and medical college hospitals. He also appealed to all eligible persons to come forward and get vaccinated with the booster dose.

Speaking on the testing capacity of Tamil Nadu, the minister said that though the testing capacity is 3.75 lakh, 1.5 lakh tests are being carried out per day now, of which 30,000 samples are being tested in Chennai alone.

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that post-Pongal, when people return to regular day-to-day life and fail to wear masks properly or follow physical distancing, there are chances for the infection to spread. According to experts, the number of cases is expected to fluctuate in the next two weeks and it should be monitored. The public has to show their support to stop that from happening, he said.

Speaking about the number of clusters in the state, Radhakrishnan said that of the total 1.79 lakh habitations in rural parts, active cases have been recorded in 22,435 habitations, of which 353 are identified as clusters. Similarly, in urban areas, of the total 1.27 lakh streets, active cases are present in 26,487 streets, of which 3,069 streets are identified as clusters.

“People should understand that omicron is a variant of COVID-19, similar to delta, and that it is not a separate mild disease that can be neglected”, he added.

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