Tamil Nadu

With 17 new COVID-19 patients, T.N. sees sharpest single-day jump

Policemen trying out the special protective suits.

Policemen trying out the special protective suits.   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

Ten of the new cases from Erode, five from Chennai

In the steepest single-day jump in the number of COVID-19 patients in Tamil Nadu, 17 persons have tested positive for the pandemic, taking the total cases to 67, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Monday.

Of the 17 patients, 10 are from Erode, five from Chennai, and one each from Madurai and Karur districts. Results of the swab samples of 121 persons are awaited. So far, six patients have been discharged from hospital after making a recovery.

Asked about the spurt in cases and the large number of patients from Erode, Mr. Palaniswami said: “A group of about 1,500 people went to Delhi [for a conference held by Tablighi Jamaat] and many from that group are testing positive. A total of 24 of them in Erode have it [COVID-19]. Of the 1,500, a total of 981 have returned and they are being tested. It is because of them that the figures have increased.” Ten of those who attended the conference were traced to Ambur. He did not go into specifics of when or how the remaining people from the group would be traced.

A total of 17,089 beds and 3,018 ventilators have been made available in government and private hospitals. There are now 14 SARS-CoV-2 testing labs across the State, including private labs. The State has sought approval from the Centre for three more labs, he added.

In all, 2,09,234 persons have been screened and 3,420 persons have completed the 28-day quarantine. While 1,981 persons were tested, 43,537 persons were under home quarantine and 1,641 in isolation. Mr. Palaniswami said 1,925 persons have been admitted as in-patients as they were suspected to have COVID-19. To a query on the number of persons tested for COVID-19, the CM maintained that testing would be done only if a person developed all symptoms.

The State government had taken steps to procure about 1.5 crore masks and 25 lakh N95 masks along with other medical supplies. “Even when the COVID-19 cases were reported in China, we stocked necessary medical requirements,” he said. Orders have been placed to acquire 2,500 ventilators and 30,000 test kits.

Mr. Palaniswami said applications for granting of emergency passes for travel would be considered only for attending funerals or weddings [scheduled earlier] or emergency medical conditions. “Section 144 would not have been imposed if everyone wanted to go out,” he quipped.

He added that steps were being taken to coordinate with States where workers from Tamil Nadu were stranded. “We have informed them that we will reimburse expenses,” he said and referred to a case in Maharashtra, where over 600 people from Tamil Nadu were stranded. About 1.49 lakh workers from Tamil Nadu were in other States and, of them, 32,469 were in the construction sector.

Self-quarantine was the only way to stop the spread of COVID-19, the CM reiterated and contended: “We have never come across such a situation, these are challenging times.” He sought people's cooperation for the lockdown, noting that people’s cooperation in T.N. was better than other States.

Replying to a query on rent to be paid by tenants, he said it was a pan India issue and the government would look into it. To another query on the possibility of waiving electricity bills, he said: “One should think of the government’s position. The government spends the money that is collected from the people as taxes. Otherwise, there is no money for the government.”

The CM also ruled out the possibility of holding an all-party meeting sought by the opposition on COVID-19, saying it was a medical issue.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 5:37:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/with-17-new-covid-19-patients-tn-sees-sharpest-single-day-jump/article31211965.ece

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