80 per cent of Tamil Nadu Covid-19 cases traced to Old Delhi meeting

The state now has 234 positive cases, of which 190 are Tablighi returnees

Salem/Coimbatore/Chennai: In a sudden flare-up in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Tamil Nadu, the state added another 110 on Wednesday, taking its tally to 234.

All the new positive cases are being pegged to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Old Delhi on March 10-13 from which the infection is said to have spread countrywide.

However, some of the media reports on the Tablighi Jamaat congregation have been inaccurate; in some cases people were reported positive although they had not been tested yet.

Notably, of the total of 234 positive cases in the state, 190 are those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event at Nizamuddin in Delhi, which makes it close to 80 per cent of all positive cases till date in Tamil Nadu.

Citing that alarming point, Tamil Nadu health secretary Beela Rajesh told reporters this evening that the number is expected to go up further as more samples taken from the Delhi returnees will have been tested in the next two days.

The state has far managed to identify 1103 people who attended the Delhi conference and returned to Tamil Nadu.

Dr Rajesh said of these 1103 returnees, swab samples have been taken from 658 persons. The remaining samples would be taken by Thursday.

In addition to locating and isolating these returnees, Dr Rajesh said medical workers were going house to house in their localities to trace anyone with whom they might have had contact. These house-to-house operations were being conducted within a radius of 2-5 km of the returnees’ residence.

The news agency PTI reported that the National Health Mission Tamil Nadu appealed to 'Tablighi Jamaat brothers,' to contact health authorities immediately by telephone (7824849263/044 46274411) as participants of the conference might be at risk of contracting coronavirus.

District-wise, here’s the break-up of the 110 new positive cases reported on Wednesday:

Coimbatore 28; Theni 20; Dindigul 17; Tirunelveli 6; Erode 2; Madurai 9; Tirupathur 7; Chengelpet 7; Sivaganga 5; Thoothukudi 2; Tiruvarur 2; Karur 2; Chennai 1; Kancheepuram 1.

In addition to these, four more districts in Tamil Nadu were affected by Covid-19 due to other factors.

Now that the Covid-19 spread is clearly accelerating, the health secretary said there were enough isolation beds and ventilators available in various government hospitals in the state.

She said she had a video conference with doctors of leading private hospitals today to assess the additional facilities that might be needed.

Pregnant women expecting to deliver in the next two months and elderly people are now part of the extreme focus, she noted.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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