Six new COVID-19 cases in Puducherry

May 23, 2020 12:07 am | Updated 12:07 am IST - PUDUCHERRY

In the sharpest spike over a single day, Puducherry recorded six new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

With this, the tally has gone up to 28 in the U.T., including the five patients from Tamil Nadu at Jipmer.

The first two cases include a 43-year-old woman in Periyakalapet under home quarantine since a visit to Chennai on May 18, who tested positive and has been admitted in the IGMCRI, and a 46-year-old woman from Reddiarpalayam who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is quarantined at a facility in Chennai.

By evening, four more cases, including a nine-year-old boy in Villianur, were confirmed. The boy is suspected to have got the infection from his father who had tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago.

A 20-year-old youth in Kurumampet who tested positive is presumed to have been infected by his brother while contact tracing is on for a 25-year-old patient in Moogambigai Nagar and a 34-year-old patient in Dharmapuri in Thattanchavady, health officials said.

Officials said there had been an over three-fold increase in cases over the past week since further easing of lockdown norms and the arrival of residents stuck in other States and in the Gulf.

Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao said the government was coordinating with airport authorities in Chennai to streamline the arrival of domestic and international passengers into Puducherry.

Many of these passengers were arriving without notifying the administration in advance and a few of them had tested positive for COVID-19 upon entry, he said.

"We have asked airport authorities to coordinate the movement of air passengers with our nodal officer. We are also prepared to arrange transportation for these passengers," the Minister said.

A 14-day quarantine has to be adhered to by everyone entering the city. Given instances where returnees breaching quarantine after a few days, special teams have been formed to ensure compliance, Mr. Rao said.

The Minister said about 1,500 foreigners from US, France and UK had requested permission to come to Puducherry and had also vouched to follow mandatory quarantine and other instructions.

"We are not in a position to oblige as our priority is the return of residents of the city stranded overseas. Moreover, the Centre has to take call on resumption of international tourism," he said.

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