Ready to procure and distribute any eligible vaccine, says TN Medical Minister

The global tender received no bids the Minister said; Pasteur Institute of India can manufacture one crore vials of COVID-19 vaccine a month if provided with raw materials, he said

The State government is ready to procure and distribute any eligible vaccine for the public, but there was no response to the global tender called for procuring vaccines, Ma. Subramanian, Minister for Medical and Family Welfare said.

Mr. Subramanian, along with Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan and other officials, assessed the COVID-19 situation in the district and reviewed the facilities. Mr. Subramanian inaugurated the paediatric ward with intensive care facilities for COVID-19 treatment set up at Namakkal Government Medical College Hospital including a special unit for treating newborn babies for COVID-19.

Mr .Subramanian also presented temporary job orders to doctors and nurses appointed for the district and distributed welfare schemes here. Minister for Tourism M. Mathiventhan, district collector K. Megraj and other senior officials were present.

Talking to presspersons, Mr. Subramanian said, “The State government issued a global tender to procure vaccine for the State. However, no one took part in the bid and the situation is similar for other States as well. The Health Secretary and I would be meeting the Chief Minister tomorrow (Tuesday) and he will decide on further steps.”

The Minister said he had visited the vaccine manufacturing unit at Pasteur Institute of India in Coonoor and the authorities at the centre told them that they would be able to manufacture one crore vials a month if they are provided with raw materials. He added that the centre, which was started in 1907 has 303 permanent workers and ₹137 Crores was allotted by Central government in 2013 for its development and it has been in a ready to operate state since 2019. Mr. Subramanian added that earlier he also visited the vaccine manufacturing centre in Chengalpattu and the Chief Minister has written to Centre to begin production at the facility and the State is hopeful that it would begin at the earliest.

Mr. Subramanian said that the State till date has received 1.01 crore doses of vaccines and it was distributed to districts. The Centre has allotted 42 lakh for the State for the month of June and while 5.5 lakh doses have been provided, 36.5 lakhs are yet to arrive, he said.

On a question on the spread of COVID-19 variants, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said that during genetic studies 70% of samples were found with a variant. However, there is no change in COVID-19 treatment or prevention protocols. He appealed the public to come forward for treatment if there are any symptoms at earliest for early recovery.

Mr. Subramanian said that across the State, daily recovery is higher than new cases. While 20,421 new cases were reported on Sunday, 33,161 recovered. Mr. Subramanian said that a separate ward to treat to Mucormycosis has been set up at Namakkal GH and there are 938 patients in the State undergoing treatment for it. He added that the State has stock of 3,840 vials of medicine for treating the disease while the requirement is 35,000 vials. the CM has written to Centre requesting 30,000 vials for the State, he added.

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