DMK has no moral right to oppose NEET: Vijayabaskar

‘Test was introduced when Congress was in power at Centre’

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar on Monday said that the AIADMK government had always been firm in its decision to oppose the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), and the DMK and the Congress had no “moral right” to oppose it.

“The concept of NEET was introduced in 2010 when the Congress was in power at the Centre, with the DMK as its ally. NEET, as a policy decision, was introduced through a notification of the Medical Council of India on December 27, 2010. Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had sternly opposed NEET and sought its ban,” he told reporters.

“So, after allowing it to be introduced, the DMK is now opposing the NEET, and people will definitely not accept this. The DMK has no moral right to oppose it, and it is the AIADMK that has been firm in its decision,” he said.

The Minister was at the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children to launch a deworming campaign.

He added that the DMK was confusing students and the people. “Today, the implementation of NEET is as per the orders of a Supreme Court bench,” he said.

COVID-19 violations

Replying to a question on the fines being collected as per provisions of the amended Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, Mr. Vijayabaskar said that around ₹13.39 lakh had been collected from persons across the State for having violated COVID-19 norms.

“Our aim is not to punish the people. We continue to emphasise the need to wear masks. When compared to States such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, COVID-19 cases are under control in Tamil Nadu. We are taking steps to reduce the number of deaths. Fatalities have reduced from 129 to 70-80 now,” Mr. Vijayabaskar said.

Positivity rate

“We are maintaining a positivity rate of less than 10%,” he added.

He added that a total of 4,380 pregnant women, who tested positive for COVID-19, had been successfully treated in the State.

He said that oxygen pipelines had been installed at government hospitals at a cost of ₹150 crore.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said that excluding Chennai, there had been 1,134 cases of violations under the Act till now.

A total of 54,439 persons, including anganwadi workers and Health Department staff, were involved in the three-phased deworming campaign that will cover children aged one to 19.

Deworming camps

The first phase of the campaign will be held from September 14-19, followed by the second round from September 21-26.

The third phase of the programme, which will cover the children who were left out in the earlier phases, would be conducted till September 28.

Camps will be held at all health sub-centres and primary health centres.

Children aged one to two will receive half a tablet, while those aged two to 19 will receive one.

Albendazole tablets are safe for all, said a press release.

Among others, T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health; R. Narayana Babu, Director of Medical Education; and S. Gurunathan, Director of Medical and Rural Health Services, were present at the launch of the campaign.

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