Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus: TN to establish quarantine facilities for persons suspected to have COVID-19

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar on Friday visited the Chennai international airport to check on the arrangements in place for screening passengers   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

Tamil Nadu is planning to establish full-fledged quarantine facilities for persons suspected to have coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the outskirts of Chennai and Madurai, Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar said.

“We presently have 300 beds in isolation wards across the State, and can increase these if needed. Now, the Chief Minister has allotted special funds to set up separate quarantine wards in the outer areas of Chennai and Madurai. These facilities are to quarantine persons whom we suspect to have coronavirus disease during screenings, on an emergency basis. We are working on establishing these facilities simultaneously,” he told reporters on Friday.

 

The Minister, along with Health Secretary Beela Rajesh and Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine K. Kolandaswamy inspected the arrangements made at the Chennai international airport to screening passengers of all flights.

With the impact of COVID-19 being felt in an increased number of countries such as Italy, South Korea, Iran and Japan, he said a 100-member team consisting of doctors and paramedical personnel were involved in round-the-clock screening at the airport. This includes the Health department’s team of 65 medical and paramedical personnel. They are screening nearly 8,500 passengers arriving in nearly 52 to 57 flights. Along with hand sanitisers, air sanitisers have been installed at the airport, he said.

“Nasal and throat swabs along with blood samples were lifted from 54 persons and all have tested negative for COVID-19. There is no case of COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu. Public need not fear or panic. But it is important to be cautious as it is an airborne disease. Seek medical help in case of symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing,” the Minister said.

Isolation wards in private hospitals

The Minister said they have advised private hospitals to set up isolation wards with the required facilities. Some of the major hospitals have come forward to establish isolation wards and follow the treatment protocols.

 

He added that all public places where there are chances of overcrowding including airports, commercial establishments, shopping complexes, theatres and schools should strictly follow the instructions issued by the respective district Collectors and Health Department on cleaning surfaces using disinfectants.

The Chief Secretary has written to all Collectors on dos and don’ts and to take up awareness on COVID-19 in schools, colleges, factories, MNCs, theatres, marriages halls and shopping malls. “We are continuously reiterating the importance of hand washing. The disease transmits 20% directly through droplets in the air through cough or sneeze, while 80% transmission occurs by touching the infected surfaces such as tables, handrails or seats,” he said.

He added that the department’s mobile health teams continued to monitor the districts that share border with Kerala. He said that the control room and health helpline 104 were receiving about 100 calls each on COVID-19.

CONTROL ROOM: Public can contact the 24-hour COVID-19 control room of the Health Department by calling phones numbers - 044 29510400/29510500, mobile - 94443 40496/87544 48477 or the department’s health helpline at 104.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 7:43:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-to-establish-quarantine-facilities-for-persons-suspected-to-have-covid-19/article31000705.ece

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