The Tamil Nadu Health Department has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for students above 18 years of age to attend college classes, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said on Friday, December 10. Addressing media persons after attending a high-level meeting of educationists in Chennai, he said that the Secretary, Higher Education will write letters to all the educational institutions directing them to make it mandatory for students above 18 years of age to get at least one dose of the vaccine administered to them.
He said that only 46% of engineering students above 18 years have taken the first dose of vaccine and only 12% of the students have taken both the doses of vaccine. Subramanian said that college administrators should verify the student list and ensure that 100% double doses have been administered.
The Minister also said that student get-togethers and functions must not be held without prior permission from the Health Department. He also said that students must bring in food in disposable containers and be sent to canteens in batches.
Earlier on Thursday, December 9, the Minister inspected the ACTech block located in the Anna University campus in Chennai after 9 students tested positive for coronavirus. "The 763 students in the campus underwent RT PCR tests, and nine of them have tested COVID-19 positive. They have been admitted to the Kings Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research. Their samples have been collected and are being sent for genomic sequencing", he said.
Subramanian had said the Health Department has issued instructions to the university that professors, staff, wardens and students should adopt social distancing while having food in the canteen.
With the Omicron variant surfacing in several countries, the Union government has directed all the state governments to focus on vaccination drives.
On Thursday, December 9, Minister Ma Subramanian said that 13 passengers who arrived from 'at risk' and 'non-risk' countries to Tamil Nadu since the Omicron variant was reported have tested positive for coronavirus, and their RT PCR Samples have been sent to Bengaluru for genomic sequencing analysis. He said 9,012 people have so far arrived from 'at risk' countries, of which 11 have tested positive, and 33,112 people arrived from 'non-risk' countries, of which two have tested positive.