Coronavirus: 24 under observation in isolation wards in TN, train passengers to be screened

Cwenty-four persons are under observation for symptoms of COVID-19 in isolation wards of government medical college hospitals, and a total of 2,635 persons are under home quarantine in the State, according to a bulletin issued by the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.C
Tamil Nadu government has plans to conduct thermal screening of passengers at railway stations in the state very soon to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus.

The state government has also set up a task force consisting of 18 senior officials headed by the chief secretary to oversee implementation of measures that have been announced to contain Coronavirus.

Officials said that they had quarantined persons arriving from seven highly-affected countries.  As on date, a total of 1,84,861 passengers have been screened at the airports in Chennai, Tiruchi, Madurai and Coimbatore.

Till date, 140 nasal and throat swabs and blood samples have been lifted from persons for testing. Except one sample that tested positive last week and another sample that is under process, the remaining samples returned negative for COVID-19.

The state has so far reported only one positive case for the virus— the patient has tested negative in subsequent tests and has now been scaled down from quarantine— even as 138 out of 140 samples tested have rendered negative.

Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar said that the government has drawn up plans to conduct thermal screenings on passengers departing from and arriving at railway stations in the state. However, he did not give a timeline for implementing the measure.

During the zero hour debate in the assembly, the minister said testing capacity in the state had been stepped up to 500 a day by setting up facilities in Theni, Tiruvarur, Tirunelveli and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai, besides the King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research.

“A few private hospitals have shown interest in testing, but the approval should be given by the central government. We are well-equipped in testing, which comes at a free of cost,” the minister said.