Union health minister Harsh Vardhan to visit Tamil Nadu tomorrow; will oversee vaccine dry run at multiple sites

With all states gearing up for the second round of the nationwide coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine dry run scheduled tomorrow, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan will be visiting Tamil Nadu to review preparedness and oversee mock vaccination drills, according to an official statement. Tomorrow’s dry run will be carried out in 736 districts across 33 states and Union Territories (UTs).

“The Union health minister will visit the sessions site at Government General Hospital, Chennai followed by the one at Government Omandurar Hospital, Chennai,” the official statement said adding that he would also oversee work at the Apollo Hospital’s vaccination centre after paying a brief visit to the General Medical Store Depot (GMSD) in Periamedu. The health ministry had said on Tuesday that there were four GMSDs located in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and 37 vaccine stores across the country.

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“The minister will also visit the vaccination Centre at Chengalpattu. He will be visiting the Hindustan Bio-Tech Ltd campus at Chengalpattu after concluding his supervision at these sites,” the statement added.

Earlier, the health minister held a meeting with the health ministers, principal secretaries and additional chief secretaries of states and UTs to review the preparedness of the vaccination mock drill in their respective areas. He also reassured all state health ministers that the cold chain infrastructure-which will be used for storing vials- had been sufficiently upgraded to ensure last-mile delivery and adding that adequate supplies of syringes and other logistics had also been provided for.

Tamil Nadu has registered over 823,000 coronavirus cases till now of which 12,188 people have died and nearly 804,000 have recovered. The state added 811 new infections and 11 more deaths on Wednesday. Chennai continues to be the worst affected region in the state with 226,937 cases and 4,035 deaths.

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Ahead of the mock drill in the state, chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami ordered to take up measures on a war footing for the dry run and all the district collectors are engaged in taking necessary steps to conduct it in their respective districts, health secretary Radhakrishnan said. He added that initially healthcare, frontline workers and senior citizens would be administered vaccine doses. The first dry run on January 2 was carried out in 17 centres across five districts of the state.

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