‘Nearly 450 cases from 209 families in 15 days’

Vaccine drive: A vaccination camp set up to inoculate the public at a hospital in Chennai earlier this week.   | Photo Credit: Ragu R.

Family clusters are the latest cause of worry for the Health Department as nearly 450 of the COVID-19 cases reported in the last 15 days were from 209 families, many of whom had attended marriages and funerals, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said.

“Though Tamil Nadu is reporting less than 500 cases a day, we have clusters of COVID-19 cases. There are family clusters,” he told presspersons after inspecting the State Vaccine Centre along with the Central team on Thursday.

He listed out the number of cases reported among families in various parts of Chennai in the last 15 days. There were 80 positive cases from 34 families in Kodambakkam; six from two families in Tiruvottiyur; six from two families in Madhavaram; nine from one family in Tondiarpet; 16 from two families in Royapuram; 58 from 27 families in Ayanavaram; 32 from 12 families in Ambattur; 51 from 19 families in Anna Nagar; 25 from eight families in Teynampet; 33 from 24 families in Alandur; 82 from 37 families in Adyar; 35 from 18 families in Perungudi; and nine cases from two families in Sholinganallur.

“From nearly 209 families, we have had 450 persons and their contacts testing positive for COVID-19 in the last 15 days. When we inquired, many of them had attended marriages and funerals,” he said. A similar situation prevailed in the districts neighbouring Chennai — Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur. Such challenges related to families existed in areas in Coimbatore too, he added.

Mask-wearing was not being adhered to many places, Mr. Radhakrishnan said. The Health Department had collected fine to the tune of ₹13 crore from around 14 lakh people for violating COVID-19 norms, he said, adding, “This is not our objective. People should change their way of life... Eligible persons should get vaccinated. When attending family programmes, people should wear masks and maintain physical distance. Wear masks while travelling in public transport, and in any place where more than 20 persons converge. Do not be complacent.”

All Collectors had been instructed to increase testing in markets, hostels and places where crowds converged. Advisories have also been given to take up testing outside events, including political meetings, he added.

“Active cases stood at 0.47% in the State. We have less than 4,000 active cases. At one point in time, we had 60,000 active cases,” the Health Secretary said. While 98% persons have recovered from COVID-19, the State’s mortality rate was 1.47%.

With elections round the corner, people should be more careful, he said, adding that Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo had issued an advisory for COVID-19-appropriate behaviour. Strict action would be taken in case of COVID-19 norms violations, Mr. Radhakrishnan added.

“The Central team has said that the cases have reduced to a large extent, and has asked us to follow intensive action for another month. Tamil Nadu is definitely not like other States such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and has done well. Special attention should be given to five to seven districts. It is important to bring cases to zero in districts with fewer cases,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Centre has so far supplied 27,84,330 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Tamil Nadu, of which 25.07 lakh doses were Covishield and 2.77 lakh doses Covaxin, Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

The Central team visited government and private COVID-19 vaccination centres. T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, was also present.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:20:49 AM |

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