Scale up testing and increase capacity of beds in govt. hospitals, says former U.T. Chief Minister
Former Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy has appealed to workers of the Secular Democratic Progressive Alliance to be on guard at counting centres till May 2.
“I am certain the people of the Union Territory have voted for those who they think will protect their rights. Workers of the alliance took the election as a challenge to prevent communal forces and parties, who have formed an alliance with the BJP, from coming to power. But the work is not over. People who have been assigned by candidates to be present at the counting centres have to be on guard. By following guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India, the agents of candidates must ensure that nothing wrong is done to the EVMs,” he said in an audio message on Wednesday night. Mr. Narayanasamy said only if the workers stayed alert, could the alliance win.
Expressing concern at the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Union Territory, the former Chief Minister said the administration should scale up testing and increase the capacity of beds in government hospitals.
The region has been witnessing a daily spike in cases, he said, adding that the only way to contain the spread was to increase testing. The Lt. Governor has already visited places to create awareness among people on the need to get vaccinated and to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are followed, he said. The existing rate of ₹2,400, charged by hospitals for RT-PCR testing, is very high. The administration should reduce the rate by at least ₹500, he added.
He said several States had brought down the testing fee substantially. Some States had even fixed the rate at ₹600, he added.
“We have already made vaccination free for all in the Union Territory. It will be better if the administration takes necessary steps to make testing free as well, and this will encourage people to get tested,” he added.
Advising people not to take COVID-19 precautions lightly, he said the second wave of the infection was serious, and hence, people should take precautions, including wearing masks in public places.