The Tamil Nadu government on Friday shunted out health and family welfare secretary Beela Rajesh and handed over the responsibilities to principal secretary and commissioner of revenue administration J Radhakrishnan.
The transfer comes in the wake of increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the state, particularly in Chennai and neighbouring districts. Radhakrishnan shot into prominence for effectively handling tsunami relief and rebuilding works in coastal Nagapattinam during 2004-05.
Radhakrishnan is no stranger to the Health Department. Incidentally, he was Beela Rajesh’s predecessor in the department, serving as Secretary between 2012 and February 2019. He will continue to hold additional charge as Secretary-cum-Commissioner, Revenue Administration.
His efficiency in handling the crisis after the tsunami gained considerable appreciation. His administrative skills were lauded by former US President Bill Clinton and the Sri Lankan government utilized his experience in relief work at the time.
The transfer of the top health official comes in the backdrop of the state recording over 1,500 cases in the last one week. Radhakrishnan, a 1992 batch IAS officer, also served as Chennai Corporation Commissioner.
Beela has been transferred and posted as secretary of commerce and registration department in place of N Muruganandam, who was holding it as additional charge, Chief Secretary K Shanmugam said in an order.
Radhakrishnan said measures are being intensified to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the State. “We are intensifying our efforts. At the same time, the cooperation of people is very important to achieve the mission,” he told the media.
He said if people test negative for Covid-19 but still show symptoms of the pandemic, they would be quarantined for 14 days.