Chennai, Jun 2 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday said it was considering a proposal to distribute face masks to the people through the public distribution system across the state, as part of the initiative to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said.
Already, the Greater Chennai Corporation is involved in distributing about 1.5 crore masks for free to the people, he said and refuted the opposition charge that there was a shortage of ventilators in the state.
'The contagion has not escalated to such proportions necessitating the use ventilators on a large scale. At present only five patients are on ventilator support while others are being given oxygen,' Palaniswami told reporters here after reviewing the measures being taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Greater Chennai Corporation limits, along with the officials at theRipon Building here.
The state-run hospitals are equipped with 2,741 ventilators and 670 new ventilators have been acquired.
'There is no iota of truth in the opposition leader's (DMK president M K Stalin) accusation that ventilators are not being used to save the patients. Stalin's charge is nothing but a filtered lie,' Palaniswami said.
Calling upon the people not to panic over the spread of the deadly virus, he said his government has ensured adequate preventive and restoration mechanism to minimise the loss of human lives.
'As on date of the 23,495 active cases, 13,173 persons have been cured and discharged while 10,138 persons are undergoing treatment. About 184 persons have died. While the death rate is only 0.8 per cent the lowest in the country, the treatment success rate is 56 per cent,' the Chief Minister said indicating that the approach and treatment modalities adopted by the state government at its medical institutions was in the right direction.
The officials briefed him about the present scenario in Chennai.
The virus was spreading only in places which are densely populated.
Except Chennai, the spread of the virus has been brought under control in other parts of the state, he added.
The Chief Minister also denied the opposition DMK charge on shortage of PCR test kits in the state.
The Tamil Nadu government had placed orders for 15.
45 lakh PCR test kits and has already obtained 11.51 lakh kits.
About 50,000 kits were received from the centre besides another 53,000 through donations.
Of them, 7.9 lakh kits were distributed to various testing centres which have used about 5.3 lakh kits so far, Palaniswami said.PTI CORR SS PTI PTI