Tamil Nadu

Amid fluctuations, officials keep a close watch on case spikes

Recipients await their turn at a COVID-19 vaccination camp in Chennai. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

COVID-19 cases continue to fluctuate in several districts of the State. Though such fluctuations are expected, each occasion when cases rise is being critically reviewed and closely monitored, according to public health officials.

Over the past few days, there has been a marginal rise and fall in fresh infections in a number of districts. The fluctuations have raised the level of alert in the State, with measures like the closure of shops in commercial areas and mandatory RT-PCR negative report for travellers from Kerala, starting August 5, being taken up.

“In any pandemic, particularly during the period of recession, fluctuations are quite common, and cases will not come down quickly. The rate of the fall will be slow. Our team is closely monitoring the situation on a daily basis. Each rise in the numbers is being critically reviewed,” T.S. Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, said.

What led to the rise in fresh cases? As Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan pointed out, “Clusters are originating from markets, crowded places and, on occasion, even visits to hospitals.” He told officials that localised mini-containment measures were important when there were more than three COVID-19 cases in a locality, and that contact tracing should be done effectively. “After the relaxation of restrictions, such gradual increases are expected. But we need to ensure that they are reversed. Implementation of Standard Operating Procedures for workplaces, markets, crowded areas and functions may be tightened, while containment in areas where cases are reported is equally important,” Dr. Radhakrishnan said.

He added that districts sharing a border with Kerala were told to activate checkposts at all entry points.

Another public health official said the western districts were the main areas of concern as of now. The latest serosurvey revealed that less than 50% were exposed to the COVID-19 infection in these districts, he said.

Genomic sequencing of COVID-19 samples indicated that it was predominantly the Delta variant. “So far, we have sent 2,614 samples for genomic sequencing and received the results for 1,881. The results indicate that it is predominantly the Delta variant — about 73%,” Dr. Selvavinayagam said.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 11:39:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/amid-fluctuations-officials-keep-a-close-watch-on-case-spikes/article35692223.ece

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