Tamil Nadu to start virtual treatment for COVID-19 patients
PTI | DC Correspondent
The virtual treatment would include the Omicron-affected individuals who have not received the vaccination but are 'asymptomatic'
A medical staff works inside a newly created Covid-19 coronavirus oxygen support isolation ward at a government hospital in Chennai. (Photo: AFP/File)
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has planned to offer virtual treatment via home isolation to COVID-19 patients who have received both doses of vaccination and have been affected by the Omicron variant, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said on Sunday.
The virtual treatment would include the Omicron-affected individuals who have not received the vaccination but are 'asymptomatic'.
They would be under constant monitoring by a medical team, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare said here.
Subramanian was talking to reporters after inspecting a medical camp in Chennai as part of the 17th Mega Vaccination Camp being held through 50,000 vaccination camps across the state.
"When there is an increase in Omicron-affected cases (in Tamil Nadu), the vaccinated patients affected by Omicron will be offered treatment under home isolation and those who have not been vaccinated and asymptomatic will be placed under constant monitoring by a team. Virtual treatment will be commenced soon in the state", he said.
Only those who require hospitalisation would be admitted to a hospital for treatment, he said. According to the state health department, Tamil Nadu has officially declared 121 Omicron cases as of Saturday.
Subramanian claimed those infected with the Omicron variant mostly test negative after three days, and require only five days of treatment.
"It has been planned to monitor them under home isolation (after they get discharged from hospital post recovery)," he said.
Noting that the medical infrastructure in Tamil Nadu has been strengthened, he said the department has informed the management of Victoria Hostel in the city, to vacate the premises for setting up beds to treat COVID-19 patients. The hostel was converted into a COVID Care Centre last year when the second wave of the contagion was at its peak in the state.
"Already facilities with 1,000 medical beds each, have been set up in places like Injambakkam, Manjambakkam... Similarly, a 800-bed facility will be set up at the Chennai Trade Centre in Nandambakkam," Subramanian said.
Referring to the sharp rise in new cases in the state, the minister reiterated that people should wear a face mask while going out and unvaccinated ones should get themselves inoculated.
He said the vaccination process for those aged between 15 to 18 will be kicked off from Monday by Chief Minister M K Stalin at a government high school in Saidapet.
The department was also targeting to vaccinate four lakh engineering students studying in various colleges in the state, he said.
"Out of this (four lakh students), only 46 per cent have received the first dose of vaccines, while 12 per cent got the second dose," he said.
The proposal to vaccinate the frontline workers with booster doses would be rolled out from January 10 by setting up camps in the state, he said. "Those who are above 60 years and those frontline workers who have completed nine months after receiving the double vaccination will be targeted during this campaign. It will be inaugurated by Chief Minister M K Stalin", he said.
Health department Principal Secretary J Radhakrishnan said currently 96 lakh individuals are eligible to receive the second dose of vaccination while 70 lakh people are yet to receive the first dose in the state.
Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said the civic body has collected Rs 105 crore as fines from people who have not adhered to COVID-19 protocols in public.
He said those who want to seek information on COVID-19 may contact the 24x7 call centre facility: 044-2538 4520 and 044-4612 2300.