10-month-old among eight fresh cases; State tally hits 50

The new cases had come into contact with two infected Thai nationals

March 30, 2020 07:18 am | Updated 07:18 am IST - CHENNAI

Eight persons, including four from the same family and an infant, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said. All of them had come into contact with two Thai nationals who had also tested positive for the disease. This takes the total number of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the State to 50.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

A 29-year-old woman, identified as patient no. 43 by the Health Department, who had come into contact with an earlier patient (case 26), who was admitted to Coimbatore ESI Hospital, had tested positive. Three others, who had come into contact with patient no. 43, also tested positive for the infection. They include a 58-year-old woman (patient no. 44); a 10-month-old boy (patient no. 45); and a 51-year-old woman (patient no. 46), all from Coimbatore, Dr. Rajesh said. They were undergoing treatment at ESI Hospital, she added.

They had contracted the infection from two Thai nationals who had tested positive and are currently undergoing treatment at IRT Perundurai. Four other patients, who were admitted to IRT Perundurai, also tested positive for the infection. The four men, aged 45, 48, 67, and 62, had travelled to Delhi from Erode.

Currently, 295 patients are undergoing treatment in hospitals, and 37 of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

A containment plan is being implemented in 11 districts. Nearly 270 personnel are covering a population of 27,725 in Tiruppur district. Around 50 patients have been picked up with symptoms of fever, cough and breathlessness. In Salem, 500 personnel are covering a population of 80,000, and 20 persons have been picked up with fever and cough. Similarly, in Chennai, the nearly one-lakh population is being covered by 500 personnel fanning out in teams. In Madurai, 88,000 people are being covered, and around 220 personnel are conducting surveillance. Suspected cases will be brought under quarantine and their samples tested, Dr. Rajesh said.

Watch | COVID-19: Dos and don'ts from the Health Ministry

The State has added 2,000 more beds, bringing the total strength to 17,000. Apart from the government hospital at Omandurar Estate which would be used to treat COVID-19 infected persons, the government has converted a few more hospitals, including IRT Perundurai, into COVID-19 treatment facilities. ESI Coimbatore has dedicated 350 beds for COVID-19 patients, while the government hospitals in Theni, Villupuram, Pudukottai and Tiruvannamalai; the Thanjavur Medical College; and Tirunelveli and Madurai PMSSY facilities are taking similar measures. Around 4,000 more beds would be added soon. Private medical college hospitals had been instructed to provide exclusive blocks or buildings to treat patients, the Health Secretary said. Four laboratories in private hospitals had begun testing patients for the infection, she added.

Though the Health Department had covered the population of Virudhunagar under the containment initiative after a person there tested positive for the infection, she said that, if need be, another round of surveillance would be taken up.

Patients discharged

Earlier, the Health Minister said two patients had been discharged from Stanley Medical College after testing negative for the infection post-treatment. The patients have a travel history and are under house quarantine for the next 14 days.

Patient no. 2, who was admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, has also been discharged.

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