With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no let-up in its spread, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fund 50% of the cost of the RT-PCR tests from the PM–CARES fund.
At a meeting of Chief Ministers, chaired by Modi via video conferencing from New Delhi, Palaniswami said that Tamil Nadu was continuing with its “aggressive, targeted testing” for COVID-19. The State, he said, was conducting the maximum RT-PCR tests in the country. Tamil Nadu presently has 130 labs for COVID testing with 61 government and 69 private labs, with an average testing capacity of 65,000 tests per day. “These tests cost nearly Rs 5 crore a day,” he said while urging Modi to share equal cost through the PM-CARES funds.
As on Tuesday, 32,92,958 samples have been tested for COVID-19 and of which 3,02,815 persons were tested positive and 53,099 active cases were in the State. Tamil Nadu provides effective medical treatment due to which the State has maintained a low death rate, which is now at 1.6%, one of the lowest in the country. “As on date, 2, 44,675 patients have recovered, which works out to a recovery rate of 80.8%, one of the highest in the country,” he said.
In addition to this he said that the Centre must grant Rs 1,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund for fighting COVID-19 pandemic. He also asked the Centre to allocated Rs 9,000 crore special grant to Tamil Nadu to make up for the shortfall and to combat COVID-19 and its after effects on the State’s economy. He also wanted an increase in the Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness package to Rs 3,000 crore, though Tamil Nadu has received Rs 512.64 crore for the same.