Chennai

Slew of samples tested, all return negative

Random checks conducted to get a fix on community transmission

After testing a little over 90 nasal, throat swabs and blood samples for over a month and a half, Tamil Nadu’s Health department lifted 32 samples — the highest number on a single day — from persons with symptoms of COVID-19 on Monday. In addition, the department lifted 22 random samples from patients with other viral infections and H1N1 influenza, and all samples tested negative for COVID-19.

“Many persons with a travel history to COVID-19 countries are approaching us for testing. So, we are considering such persons, that is those with symptoms of cough, fever and difficulty in breathing along with travel history or contact history, as they are anxious. So, we have lifted more samples today; 32 from Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital alone. A total of 128 samples have been lifted,” Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar told reporters after inspecting the Chennai Port Trust hospital.

Going by the book

Apart from this, the department did a random check among patients who were admitted to various hospitals for different reasons such as fever or H1N1 or other viral infections, he said, “Such random checks are important and are part of the guidelines for COVID-19. We lifted blood samples from 22 such patients, who had symptoms and recovered. All have tested negative for COVID-19,” he said.

This, officials, said was to check if there was community transmission of COVID-19.

As on Monday, 22 persons were under hospital isolation in the State, a bulletin said. This included 11 at RGGGH.

Another 20 persons, who were asymptomatic but arrived from seven highly-affected countries, are under quarantine at the Institute of Public Health, Poonamallee. A total of 2,221 persons were under home quarantine in the State.

The Minister said they were increasing the bed strength in quarantine facilities in every district. “Already, we have increased the bed strength in isolation wards from 330 beds to 1,120 beds in the State,” he said.

The Minister added that as of now, each diagnostic facility for COVID-19 can test up to 100 samples a day.

On screening at railway stations, he said there were 79 trains and the Chief Minister has made it clear that the railway authorities should compulsorily conduct screening at the stations, and restrict special trains from other States. At the Chennai port, officials have screened 1,600 persons who had arrived in 71 ships.

Commissioner of Revenue Administration J. Radhakrishnan and Health Secretary Beela Rajesh were present at the inspection.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 12:37:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/slew-of-samples-tested-all-return-negative/article31086163.ece

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