Tamil Nadu

COVID-19 cases rise to 55 on IIT-Madras campus

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan interacting with the students of IIT Madras after new cases surfaced on the campus recently. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

With another 25 persons testing positive for COVID-19 at IIT-Madras, an analysis showed that a cluster of cases has surfaced at Mandakini hostel. The test positivity rate of the samples tested on the campus was 3.8%, according to Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan.

“Excluding Chennai, freshers from 13 States had arrived here recently. One suspicion is that one of them could have been infected, resulting in the spread of infection to others. Nevertheless, this is a pandemic. Other than looking at the source of infection, what is more important is preventing further spread. This is why we have taken up suppression testing. Testing is progressing in all 19 hostels on campus,” he told reporters on Saturday.

As the COVID-19 cases started to increase at IIT-Madras, the Health Department took up “suppression testing” to test all. So far, 1,420 persons were tested of which 55 were found positive for COVID-19, he said.

“The index case was reported on April 19. Following this, two more persons tested positive on April 20. Of the 18 samples tested on April 21, nine persons were found positive. Next, saturation testing was taken up with more than 600 samples tested of which 21 were positive. Yesterday, nearly 700 samples were tested and 22 were confirmed to be positive,” he said. All students had mild symptoms of COVID-19. Their oxygen saturation levels were 98 and 99%, he said.

Mask compliance, which was very low on the campus, had improved to 95% now, he noted. Asked whether containment zones were drawn up on the campus, he said that separate isolation facilities were set up in the hostels.

INCREASE IN TESTING

The number of samples tested a day in the State was increased from 14,000 to 18,000. The testing would be gradually increased to 25,000, he said, adding: “Do not delay testing for two to three days. Experts are of the view that we should not worry about the sub-variants. Rather, clinical presentation was important,” he said.

The number of active cases in the State stood at 286. In May 2021, the number of active cases was the highest at over 3.11 lakh. “But we have only 17 persons hospitalised as of now. The remaining are under home isolation. Of the 17, seven are under oxygen support and two in intensive care units,” he said.

NIL DEATHS

He recalled that the State recorded the maximum deaths due to COVID-19 during May 2021. “After this, vaccination took off as a result of which deaths during the Omicron wave were less. We are recording zero deaths for over a month,” he said. Reaching zero deaths was an achievement, he added. He said that the State was maintaining 1.16 lakh beds for COVID-19.

EXPEDITE VACCINATION

Laying emphasis on the need to expedite COVID-19 vaccination, Mr. Radhakrishnan said that the State had 1.56 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines. About 1.46 crore persons were due to get the second dose of vaccine. He pointed out that from 4,000 a day, the vaccination figures had increased to 1.30 lakh.

He reiterated the need to take precautions in schools, colleges and places where people converged. “There is no need to panic. We have to remind ourselves about masking, physical distancing, handwashing and vaccination,” he said.


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Printable version | Apr 24, 2022 1:03:43 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-cases-rise-to-55-on-iit-madras-campus/article65347559.ece