Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday announced that the state government would bear the cost of Covid-19 treatment for patients in private hospitals, The Times of India reported. This will be covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health insurance scheme.

Currently, coronavirus treatment is already free in government hospitals.

The health cover was among the first five decisions Stalin made after he took charge as the chief minister. These were all promises the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam made during their poll campaign.

The DMK-led coalition won 159 seats in the 234-member Assembly. Stalin’s party alone managed to secure victory in 133 constituencies. The Congress won 18 seats, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi got four, the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) won two each.

A total of 34 ministers, including Stalin, took oath to form the new Cabinet in Tamil Nadu. Apart from being the chief minister, Stalin will also hold the portfolios for home, public and general administration, all India services, district revenue officers, special programme implementation and welfare of differently-abled persons.

Stalin also announced a pandemic time relief of Rs 2,000 for residents in the state. This is a part of the DMK’s poll promise of providing Rs 4,000 for rice ration card holders to help those affected by the pandemic. “To implement that, the chief minister has signed the order to provide the first instalment of Rs 2,000 in May itself at Rs 4,153.69 crore, covering 2,07,67,000 ration card holders,” an official statement said.

Stalin reduced rates in Tamil Nadu-based Aavin milk products to Rs 3 from May 16.

The chief minister also announced free travel for women in state-run buses from Saturday. A sum of Rs 1,200 crore was allocated as subsidy for this initiative.

An Indian Administrative Services officer-headed department will also be constituted to implement the “Chief Minister in Your Constituency” scheme, Stalin announced. This was done under the DMK’s poll promise of addressing public grievances within 100 days of assuming the chief ministerial position.