No oxygen, vaccine shortage in TN, says Health Minister

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Chennai, Apr 20 (PTI) Rejecting a charge that some deaths at a hospital in neighbouring Vellore district were due to shortage of oxygen supply, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar on Tuesday claimed there was no scarcity of medical oxygen or Covid vaccines in the state.

Responding to the charge that the deaths occurred at the Adukkamparai government hospital, Vellore, as the hospital ran out of oxygen supply - as claimed made by the kin of the diseased he said, 'the fatalities did not happen due to shortage of oxygen.' 'As has been clarified earlier, the reason was something else,' he told reporters here.

Tamil Nadu produces 400 tonnes of medical oxygen though the daily requirement was to the tune of 240 tonnes.

'We have a storage capacity of 1,200 tonnes of oxygen.

Chief minister K Palaniswamy gave a fillip to medical infrastructure in the state equipping the government hospitals across the state with modern equipment and other paraphernalia,' he said.

During the pandemic times, the state government provided 32,405 beds with oxygen supply in Tamil Nadu besides 6,504 beds with 'oxygenation facility' in Chennai, he said.

On the vaccine front, the minister said Tamil Nadu has a stock of 1.49 lakh doses of Covaxin and another 5 lakh doses were anticipated from the Centre soon and 6 lakh doses of Covishield vaccines were received Tuesday.

Already, 41.21 lakh people were administered the first dose of Covishield and 6.85 lakh people were given the second dose while 8.82 lakh were given the first dose of Covaxin, the minister said.

To a question, he said those returning from the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar have to undergo RT-PCR test and also undergo home quarantine.PTI JSP SA SS PTI PTI