Tamil Nadu is geared up to tackle the new COVID-19 variant XE or any other strain and the state government is monitoring the situation, Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Tuesday told the Assembly and outlined the measures being taken up in this connection. Referring to his meeting with Chairman of India's COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, N K Arora here on April 10, Subramanian quoted him as saying that according to the Centre, the one case each detected in Maharashtra and Gujarat does not fall under the XE type. The XE is one among the seven sub-variants of Omicron. Arora said there is no need to panic but the government is however cautious, he stated. The Minister was replying to AIADMK's C Vijayabaskar, who moved a calling attention motion and wanted to know the steps being taken in this connection, including the vaccination aspect.
The Minister said the government has started screening all the international passengers. In a first for state governments, the Whole Genome Sequencing equipment was launched in September last year at a state-run facility here by Chief Minister M K Stalin, he said. "Through this, the Tamil Nadu government is monitoring the developments related to mutations," Subramanian said. On April 14, the Chief Minister would inaugurate 2,096 new upgraded beds set up at a cost of Rs 365 crore for critical and intensive care units in state-run facilities, he said. "The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is prepared to tackle the XE or any other variant," he said. As regards vaccination, Subramanian said till April 12 morning, 10.55 crore vaccine doses have been administered out of which 92.37 per cent was first dose and 77.19 per cent second dose.