Immediate imposition of a statewide lockdown to curb the COVID spread; 12,500 oxygen-supported beds being put together; Remdesivir to be sold in five more districts and triaging patients in the hospitals to ensure the ones in immediate need of medical attention are prioritised — these are some of the measures undertaken by the newly appointed Health Minister of Tamil Nadu MA Subramanian.
Subramanian was allocated the health department after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief MK Stalin was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the state.
Helming the department at such a crucial juncture, the 61-year-old is being expected to turn things around for the state and strengthen the government's fight against the pandemic.
In a tragic turn of events, Subramanian lost his son, Anbazhagan, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. His 35-year-old son was specially-abled and had recovered from the disease after battling with it for ten days in October. Soon after, he developed lung complications and died at the hospital.
Subramanian has several feathers to his achievement cap. He has served as the Mayor of Chennai for five years from 2006 till 2011. A fitness enthusiast, he is a marathon runner and has a number of records to his credit.
According to The Times of India, he even entered the Asia Book of Records by running a four-hour-and-eight-minute long marathon on his terrace during the lockdown that was announced last year.
He said that since he was a regular at running marathons, he could not stay idle after the parks and playgrounds in the city were shut and thus turned his terrace into a running track.
The minister had run his first marathon at Auroville in 2014 and finished it in a mere two and half hours whereas the majority of the runners took three hours. Since then he has been participating in marathons and has run over 100 marathons till now, reported The Bridge.
Reports mention that he was felicitated with an honorary doctorate by the World Records University for completion of 50 marathons in just three years.
All these accomplishments were attained after Subramanian survived a horrific car accident in 2004 while traveling with his friends. He had suffered a skull injury and broken his knee bone. The doctors had even told him that he could never walk again, however, he beat the odds stacked against him with resilience and went onto clinch multiple records.
It is being said that a leader who understands the importance of and values fitness as well as knows the grief of losing a loved one will be empathetic to the distress calls of thousands in the state. Subramanian is believed to lead in giving a direction to the healthcare management in Tamil Nadu.