Madurai

Extensive focussed testing aids Theni keep COVID-19 numbers controlled, says Collector

Collector M. Pallavi Baldev interacting with migrant workers at Cumbum in Theni

Collector M. Pallavi Baldev interacting with migrant workers at Cumbum in Theni  

Theni district ranks second in the State in terms of tests per million population

Theni district ranks second among the districts in Tamil Nadu in terms of number of COVID-19 tests per million population, after Chennai*. This is despite the district ranking 18 in the total number of positive cases reported across Tamil Nadu. A total of 108 people have tested positive in the district as on Tuesday.

District Collector M. Pallavi Baldev says that focussed testing has helped them identify and contain more positive cases, thus helping in limiting the spread of the disease.

As per data provided by the district administration on May 24, a total of 13,154 tests have been conducted with 8,871 tests per million population.

“We test a minimum of 15 contacts for each positive case. By extensively going through their logs, establishing primary contacts and creating a detailed record of the number of people the positive patient has met, we zero down on testing,” she says. This is apart from the influenza-like illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) cases.

Ms. Baldev adds that they are among the first district to do random sampling. Through this exercise they found a total of 31 positive cases at an area in Bodinayakanur.

“We are not going out of the way to test but are merely following government protocol and leaving nothing to chance. We believe in tracking, tracing, testing and treating. The more people we identify as positive, the more we can ensure treatment,” she says, adding that the more number of COVID-19 positive cases they identify, the greater is their success in containing the spread of the disease.

Ms. Baldev says that a lot of their focus currently is on testing people who arrive from other districts and States. “The first spike in the number of cases was observed when the cluster which attended a religious conference in Delhi tested positive here. The second spike came during the Koyambedu cluster began testing positive,” she says.

With several migrants returning to Theni, there is a need to test and ensure strict quarantine measures for them. “We have enough institutional facilities to take care of quarantine,” she says.

“We are going to continue testing as per the government’s guidelines and will not shy away from any number of positive cases,” she adds.

*TPM data as on May 19.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 8:45:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/extensive-focussed-testing-aids-theni-keep-covid-19-numbers-controlled-says-collector/article31686633.ece

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