Tamil Nadu

Three more test positive, take total of COVID-19 patients to six in Tamil Nadu

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar inspecting the quarantine facility in Tambaram.

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar inspecting the quarantine facility in Tambaram.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Number under home surveillance jumps from 4,253 on Friday to 8,950; app launched for medical advice

Three more persons — two of them Thai nationals — have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu. This takes the total number of persons who have tested positive in the State to six.

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar, in a tweet, said: “The three patients were already quarantined and on the radar. They were admitted to isolation wards in government hospitals.”

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

He added that, so far, all six COVID-19 patients in the State were “imported cases”, with a travel history, and did not involve community transmission.

Screening had been intensified at railway stations, at domestic and international terminals of airports and on the borders with States, he informed.

The Minister later told reporters that two of the new cases were tourists from Thailand, while the third person had arrived from New Zealand. The Health Department had begun tracing the contacts of all three persons. However, he refused to divulge details on where the three patients were admitted, citing “medical ethics”.

Three more test positive, take total of COVID-19 patients to six in Tamil Nadu

However, late on Saturday, officials said that the two Thai nationals were lodged at the isolation ward of Government IRT Perundurai Medical College. The third patient has been admitted to a private hospital in Chennai.

Home quarantine

The number of persons under home surveillance for COVID-19 in the State has doubled. From 4,253 persons on Friday, the number has gone up to 8,950. Chennai accounts for the highest number of persons in home quarantine, at 2,904.

Currently, 221 asymptomatic passengers from highly-affected countries are being quarantined in centres near the airport, according to a bulletin released by the Directorate of Public Health (DPH) and Preventive Medicine.

The number of persons admitted to isolation wards increased from 32 to 54. The number of persons screened at airports crossed the two lakh mark. A total of 2,01,672 persons have been screened so far. The total number of samples taken for testing also went up to 412 from 333. Of this, 67 samples were under process.

The Minister urged people to stay at home and cooperate to prevent community spread of COVID-19. He added that they were following the guidelines issued for testing.

The number of beds in isolation wards in government medical college hospitals is all set to increase. Presently, there are a total of 1,120 beds in isolation wards in government medical college hospitals, headquarters hospitals and private hospitals.

As of now, government medical college hospitals have 20-bedded isolation wards. Now, all hospitals have been instructed to increase the number of beds for isolation wards up to 100 along with ventilators, step-down wards and observation wards. Private hospitals empanelled under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme have been roped in, he said.

The Minister held a meeting with deans and chiefs of medicine of private medical college hospitals and asked them to ready 100-bed isolation ward facilities in their institutions. The Minister said that the 24-hour control room of the DPH, which is manned in three shifts by 50 persons each, was also involved in contact tracing of COVID-19 patients.

Those under home quarantine — those with a travel history from affected countries or other States — were usually contacted on their phones to check on their health status every day, he said.

App launched

“Now, we have launched an app through which our doctors can provide medical advice to those under home quarantine through video calls. This app has a capacity to connect one lakh persons,” he said. Officials said that a video call facility would be provided on the portal.

The Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association, in a press release, advised its members to cancel all elective procedures. The association advised members to cut down regular outpatient department appointments, attend only to emergences and request patients to get back after a couple of weeks or till further communication.

If patients need hospital visits, members must ensure that all necessary precautions were in place, the association said.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 10:29:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/three-more-test-positive-take-total-of-covid-19-patients-to-six/article31131383.ece

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