Chennai: Intensifying the Covid-19 containment measures, health and civic authorities ring-fenced potential virus hot-spots including nine in greater Chennai, as the total number of coronavirus positive patients zoomed to 411 with Friday alone accounting for 102 positive cases in Tamil Nadu.
Except two patients in Chennai, one with a travel history to the U.S. and another with 'co-morbid condition' reporting positive today, all the remaining 100 fresh positive cases have a 'travel history' to the Tablighi Jamaat conference in New Delhi recently. In fact, of the 411 total positive cases 364 have attended the Delhi meet from Tamil Nadu.
Giving these details at a press conference here on Friday evening, State Health Secretary, Dr Beela Rajesh said, while seven of them have been discharged so far, the clinical condition of all of them "is very, very stable".
"None of them require any critical care nor are in ICU," she said.
Dr Beela Rajesh said with a section of the patients requesting they be allowed to take treatment in private hospitals, the chief minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami has taken a decision that they could also go to private hospitals and pay for it, though treatment in government hospitals is free.
As Chennai leads all the 37 districts in the State with a maximum of 81 positive cases so far, the city police have zeroed in on nine hotspots of suspected coronavirus cases, which they have barricaded and restricting the entry of new vehicles or persons.
These hotspots in the metro include Puliyanthope, Ennore, Tondairpet, Netaji Nagar, Muthayalpet, Pudupet, Purasawakkam, Saidapet and Velachery, police sources said.
In a related decision to avert overcrowding in fish markets, chicken and mutton stalls, as was seen last Sunday where social distance norms were thrown to the winds by the people, the Chennai Corporation decided to shut all such shops on Monday, April 6, coinciding with Mahaveer Jayanthi.
District collectors have also been advised to take similar decisions. The authorities have also warned that shops violating the social distance norm and those functioning without proper licenses will be sealed, sources said.
Stressing that Tamil Nadu continued to be in Stage-II of the disease, Dr Beela Rajesh said the government was now "aggressively focusing on the Containment Plan (CP)" in all the districts. She said the objective was to focus on every single person within the containment zone.
As soon as somebody has tested positive in any particular area, "we try to cover every house" within a five-km radius (Containment Zone) and a seven-km buffer zone."
Health workers and others from various departments form various teams are involved in both 'active containment' and 'passive containment' steps, she said.
The idea was to check every house and bring all those with suspected symptoms for the virus into the stream of isolation, house quarantine or hospital treatment if needed, so that no individual was left out, Dr Beela said.
In addition to this, in both the containment and buffer zones, with help of local bodies staff, sanitization of all areas was intensively done. So far, about 4.50 lakh to five lakh population have been thus covered under the CP, she said, adding that this would go up as more positive cases show up.
The health secretary said, as on date 86,342 passengers are under home quarantine for 28 days. Currently, 105 asymptomatic passengers from highly-affected countries are being quarantined in quarantine facilities near the airport and 1,580 are under 'hospital isolation'.
Three samples of persons with respiratory illnesses during the house checks, turned out to be positive cases. Total samples tested till date is 3,684. But all the cases are stable so far.
Meanwhile, in Salem, Rahmath, 58, of the railway colony area who was under home-quarantine passed away on Friday, but public health authorities said he was already having other medical complications as a diabetic.
Rahmath had not tested positive for Covid-19, nor was he among those who had travelled to the Jamaat meeting in Delhi from Salem, they made clear. As many as 57 others who had returned to Salem from Delhi are being tested.
At Tiruchy, at the meeting convened by the district collector, Mr. S. Sivarasu with all religious leaders on Friday, the Tiruchy district SP Ziaul Haque also participated and they discussed the need for all sections to cooperate with the Covid-19 protection measures.
It is learnt that while 24 persons who attended the Delhi Jamaat meeting from Tiruchy district were still stranded in New Delhi, one other person from Bheemanagar in the town who returned has been hospitalised, sources said.