COVID-19: Those in contact with 54-year-old Madurai patient are being screened

The COVID-19 ward in Madurai. Photograph used for representational purposes only

The COVID-19 ward in Madurai. Photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: S. Krishnamoorthy

Hospital authorities said the patient is currently in stable condition

Officials from the Health Department of the Madurai Corporation and the Public Health Department will be screening a total of 45 people who were in contact with the 54 year-old patient who has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH), said District Collector T. G. Vinay, here on Tuesday.

The 54 year-old who had no travel history and had contacted the virus through local transmission, had unstable vitals on Monday night and doctors at the GRH contemplated putting him on ventilator support. However, the patient recovered and is currently in stable condition, said a source at the hospital.

On Friday, when the patient began to have symptoms, he had visited a local clinic. He later went to a private hospital on Saturday where a CT scan of his chest was taken, said a source from the Public Health department. The private hospital referred the patient to the GRH for isolation.

The Collector said to The Hindu that the patient was a building contractor and the vice president of the board of a mosque committee. He had offered prayers and had attended a get-together which had a minimum of 20 people last week.

Another officer said that they were segregating the initial list of people the patient met into three categories -- close contact, primary contact and secondary contact based on the proximity to the patient.

“We obtained a list of people who have been in touch with the patient through his son. We have also isolated the patient’s wife and son at the moment. Based on the initial list we have drawn up, we will be checking the co-morbidity and associated risks and then will recommend isolation at the GRH or strict home quarantine,” the Collector said.

‘Need not be community transmission’

“This need not be a case of community transmission. Madurai being a pilgrimage centre, he could have come in contact with a traveller from abroad. We are looking at all possibilities from the places he visited. The patient visited mosques and attended a wedding. There may be a chance of contact in these places,” a health official said. The patient has co-morbidities including uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension.

The department has also received information that a group of foreign nationals were visiting pilgrimage spots in Madurai and efforts are on to track them. “Some of the patients, who had returned from abroad, had come here out of fear of COVID-19 in that country.

Officials have so far traced and quarantined 14 contacts of the State’s ninth COVID-19 patient, a 64-year-old woman who returned from the USA via Singapore. This included her husband and domestic help, while the remaining were visitors. For the eighth patient, a 43-year-old man who is undergoing treatment in Tirunelveli, who had returned from Dubai to Madurai airport, the department has traced and quarantined 51 of his contacts including co-passengers in the flight, and place of stay - a hotel.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 6:38:16 AM |

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