The Tamil Nadu government on Monday announced a series of intensified measures to tackle coronavirus such as pasting stickers on the houses of overseas returnees advised self-quarantine and setting apart over 9,000 beds and 560 ventilators in government hospitals.
Outlining the initiatives taken by the government for thwarting the spread of the contagion and managing the infected, Chief Minister K Palaniswami told the state assembly that Rs 500 crore has been allocated from the state disaster relief fund for anti-virus initiatives, up from the initial sum of Rs 60 crore.
In a bid to ensure those under home quarantine on return from foreign countries do not come into contact with outsiders, he directed officials to "paste home quarantine information" on the doors of houses of such people.
Data on home quarantined people should be shared with police, local bodies and field health officials so that people getting in contact with those isolated will be avoided, he said.
Incidentally, the Greater Chennai Corporation separately announced it would paste stickers at the houses of those under home quarantine so as to alert others to avoid contact with them.
As of now, those returning from foreign countries and not having any symptoms of coronavirus are asked to remain under home quarantine for 14 days as a precautionary measure.
Batting for strict monitoring of people who had travelled abroad and those who had been in touch with them, Palaniswami said surveillance should be on in respect of their self-quarantine considering public good.
The chief minister said he issued the directions during a review meet held by him here on Monday on the measures to check coronavirus which has infected nine people in the state, where a lockdown will come into effect from Tuesday 6 PM.
"Understanding the gravity of the situation, people should resolutely stand shoulder to shoulder with the Tamil Nadu government," he said.
All, in particular those who returned from abroad and other states should furnish information about them to the health department and extend full cooperation, he said.
"In the first phase, of the 92,406 inpatient beds in government hospitals, 9,266 beds have been converted as isolation beds and this number will be increased on need basis," he said.
As many as 560 ventilators, and monitors have been additionally allocated for government hospitals to create intensive care unit facilities.
Medical equipment needed to create 500 more ICU beds were being procured and all drugs required to treat coronavirus patients have been adequately bought and kept ready, he said.
Private hospitals have been advised to earmark 25 per cent of beds for treating the virus patients, he said.
"I am directly monitoring the situation," he said adding Chief Secretary K Shanmugam was heading a task force and Ministers for Health, Municipal Administration and Revenue were involved in anti-virus initiatives.