Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus | After 10 days, fresh cases in Tamil Nadu dip below 500

Civic workers taking samples from contacts of patients in a Chennai neighbourhood. K. Pichumani

Civic workers taking samples from contacts of patients in a Chennai neighbourhood. K. Pichumani   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

Chennai, with 363, accounts for 80% of new cases

For the first time in 10 days, Tamil Nadu reported fewer than 500 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

With 447 persons testing positive for COVID-19, the State’s tally climbed to 9,674*. Nearly 80% of the new cases were from Chennai. Of the 447 (253 male and 194 female) new patients, 22 persons, who had returned from Maharashtra, tested positive for the infection in five districts.

State Helpline numbers | State-wise tracker | A map of confirmed cases in India

Chennai’s tally climbed to 5,637 with 363 new patients even as two more persons — in their 40s — died. The toll in the State now stands at 66.

A 43-year-old resident of Chennai, admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) on May 8, died on Thursday due to respiratory failure/pneumonia. He had chronic kidney disease and was on dialysis. He also had chronic hepatitis C infection and systemic hypertension. The second patient, a 45-year-old woman, had diabetes, systemic hypertension and hypothyroidism. She was admitted to RGGGH on May 7 and died on May 13 due to acute respiratory distress syndrome/respiratory failure.

Also read: Coronavirus | Citing COVID-19 spike, TN CM urges PM not to resume air, rail services till May 31

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said that the State’s mortality rate was among the lowest in the country. It currently stands at 0.68%. “World Health Organisation’s (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan and a panel of medical experts, while giving their views on the State’s strategy, appreciated that testing more is good as it makes early diagnosis possible. Through this, we can admit patients and provide proper treatment. Though several States are affected, T.N. accounts for a low mortality rate due to comprehensive treatment, high testing numbers, early diagnosis and proper clinical management,” he said.

One of the biggest challenges for doctors was treating high-risk patients with COVID-19. “We have been able to keep the mortality rate low among high-risk patients too,” he said. Those with co-morbid conditions should continue their treatment and take appropriate medications, he added.

He said the total number of active cases, including those in isolation, stood at 7,365.

A total of 11,965 samples were tested during the day. “Till now, we have tested 2,91,432 samples in the State. The State has taken up aggressive testing, and accounts for the highest number of testing facilities. The number of laboratories has increased to 58 — 38 in the government and 20 in the private sector — today,” the Minister said. Two more private laboratories — Bioline Laboratory, Coimbatore, and Premier Health Centre, Chennai — have been approved.

Also read: Coronavirus | Citing COVID-19 spike, TN CM urges PM not to resume air, rail services till May 31

“A total of 19 lakh samples have been tested in the country. As we speak, the testing numbers would have crossed three lakh in T.N. We are testing as per the guidelines of WHO and Indian Council of Medical Research,” he said.

The Minister added that 64 persons were discharged from hospitals on Thursday. With this, a total of 2,240 persons have been discharged in the State.

Apart from Chennai, there were 15 cases in Tiruvallur, nine in Chengalpattu, eight cases each in Kancheepuram and Tiruvannamalai, five in Kanniyakumari, four in Perambalur, three in Tirunelveli, two in Madurai and one each in Dindigul, Karur, Ramanathapuram, Tenkasi, Theni and Thoothukudi.

In addition, 24 persons who had returned from other States and international returnees had tested positive. Twenty-two of them had returned from Maharashtra and tested positive — 11 in Tirunelveli, seven in Madurai, two in Thoothukudi and one each in Karur and Sivaganga. Two persons who returned from Qatar tested positive in Tirunelveli.

The Minister said that Sivaganga district had no positive case for 23 days and reported one case after a person who returned from Mumbai tested positive.

Twenty-six children aged 0 to 12 had tested positive. Among them was a three-month-old baby. Another 45 persons aged above 60 years had tested positive.

“People belonging to T.N. are living in other States. There are people who have gone abroad as tourists, for higher education and for work, and are returning to the State. Till now, people have arrived in seven flights — six landed in Chennai and one in Tiruchi. All were tested and quarantined. Among them, nine persons have tested positive,” he said.

Also read: Coronavirus | Tamil Nadu Cabinet eases lockdown norms in large parts of State

A 400-member team of the Directorate of Public Health is ready to screen persons arriving in trains from Delhi on Thursday evening and on Saturday. “The team will screen and test persons arriving in a train scheduled to reach Chennai on Thursday evening. Persons who test positive for COVID-19 will be admitted to hospitals and the remaining will be taken to quarantine facilities. Another 1,100 persons will be arriving on Saturday. The government has decided to test all of them,” he said.

At every medical college, a rapid response team comprising heads of departments of general medicine, community medicine and microbiology had been formed. They were analysing the spread of the infection, virulence, places where it had spread, age of patients affected, duration of infection and were submitting a report to the Chief Secretary.

He added that through the Indian Medical Association, the government had told private hospitals to offer all services and follow appropriate protocols. “We are ensuring that immunisation and antenatal care is not affected in government hospitals,” he added.

(*This is inclusive of two deaths cross-notified to other States and one patient who died after testing negative for the infection)

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 4:17:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/after-10-days-fresh-cases-dip-below-500/article31586662.ece

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