Tamil Nadu

1,589 cases linked to Koyambedu so far

The Koyambedu cluster continues to trigger a surge in COVID-19 cases across Tamil Nadu. Having spread to more than half the State, it now accounts for 1,589 positive cases.

For the first time since the cluster started to unravel, the Health Department officially indicated the exact number of cases linked to the Koyambedu market in its daily bulletin. It was during the last week of April that vendors in parts of Chennai started testing positive for COVID-19.

Over the last week, more cases started emerging as market labourers returned to their home towns in the State, resulting in the spread of the infection to districts that only had a few cases till then. Apart from Chennai, the predominantly affected districts were Ariyalur, Perambalur, Cuddalore, Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur.

A senior official said that they had identified 6,900 persons who had travelled to districts from the market and 1,300 in Chennai, and quarantined them. They were checked for symptoms and tested for COVID-19. “Testing of samples in Chennai and other districts will be completed in two to three days,” he said.

Given the spread of the infection, an official source said the cluster may account for close to 3,000 cases.

Last month, the State saw the emergence of a cluster after persons who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference in New Delhi, from various districts in Tamil Nadu, tested positive. Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said that the State managed this cluster by tracking all attendees and their contacts, and they had recovered from COVID-19.

“In the same way, we are tracking and testing all those who are linked to the Koyambedu cluster to prevent its further spread. Apart from Chennai, persons who returned to districts are being monitored by the respective Collectors, Superintendents of Police and the Health Department. They are being monitored and tested. We similarly contained the media cluster in Chennai,” he said.

A health official said that contact tracing for all persons who had links with the Koyambedu market was almost complete. The main problem with the cluster was the huge crowd at the Koyambedu market, he said, adding: “Being a marketplace, these people have more contacts. In any other case, we will have 20-30 contacts for a single patient. Considering the crowded environment of the market, each positive patient has a high number of contacts. This is definitely a difficult task. Despite the challenge, we have been able to trace them.”

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 4:16:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/1589-cases-linked-to-koyambedu-so-far/article31538704.ece

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