Random sampling, vaccination gets under way in Tiruchi

Photo used for representative purpose only.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

The Health Department has begun conducting random sampling among school and college-going children and in crowded areas in the central region to keep a check on the spread of COVID-19. Most districts in the region have a positivity rate below the State average, which is less than 1%.

In Tiruchi district, the weekly average positivity rate is 1.01%. Throat swabs are being lifted at the Tiruchi Railway Junction, Tiruchi International Airport regularly. Mobile camps are also being conducted at areas where the public frequent- such as the Gandhi Market and Singarathope. The department traces at least 30 primary and secondary contacts of each patient who tests positive. Additionally, test samples are lifted at all Primary Healthcare Centres and health workers at various blocks. The sum total of the swabs comes up to an average of 5,000 a day, an official of the health department said.

In Pudukottai, where at least nine students reported COVID-19 positive last week, the number of fresh cases is witnessing a dip, said B. Kalaivani, Deputy Director of Health Services. “There are no clusters being reported and even the students who reported positive were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms,” she said.

Health officials in the district began conducting random sampling among school students across the district after the first few cases were reported. Health workers would select students from schools in a randomised manner and lift samples, they said. Including these samples, a total of around 2,000 are lifted in the district each day. An average of around 25 cases are reported, which is well below the state average, Dr. Kalaivani said.

Meanwhile, in Nagapattinam district, occasional spikes in cases can be attributed to gatherings where norms are not followed. “While the average number of cases in the district is around 30, on some days, 40 to 50 cases would be recorded. On investigating, we find that it would be people who attended a wedding or a funeral. People need to continue following COVID-19 norms,” District Epidemiologist Liakath Ali said.

In Pudukottai, 3,000 samples are lifted daily and positivity.

The authorities in these districts said that the focus had shifted to ensuring at least 70% of the population was vaccinated. “Research has shown that if 70% of the population is vaccinated, then the number of severe cases, if there is another spike, can be reduced. Through daily efforts, and through mega vaccination camps, we are attempting to reach the target,” Dr. Ali said.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 9:39:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/random-sampling-vaccination-gets-under-way-in-central-region/article36539929.ece

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