CHENNAI: The special nodal officer coordinating the battle against Covid-19 in greater Chennai, Dr J Radhakrishnan, urged the people not to get panic in the wake of 'aggressive testing' of people in and around the Koyembedu wholesale market, the felt latest infection hub, even as the city accounted for 266 of the 527 new positive cases Tamil Nadu added on Monday. The state-wide total of positive Covid-19 patients touched 3,550.
In the last few days, officials reckon by a quick estimate that some 7,500 'mandi' workers, traders and their contacts including family members in and around Koyembedu market have left for their home districts, mainly Cuddalore, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore and Permbalur. So a huge contact tracing effort is on, to then test and isolate those persons who test positive.
Explaining this was part of the problem for the huge surge in number of corona positive patients, Mr. Radhakrishnan said it was surprising that nearly 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the new positive cases turning up was on testing of "asymptomatic cases". The public health workers have been after people who look so normal, but when tested show they have been infected by the virus, he said, adding, hence numbers were rising rapidly.
However, Dr. Radhakrishnan said people should not fear, as Tamil Nadu's recovery rate was still the highest in the country and the mortality was still among the lowest all-India. The senior officer who has handled major crisis situations including the 2004 Tsunami, said Covid-19 virus can be tamed.
There was one more death confirmed today, of a 65-year old male with co-morbidities from Chennai admitted in Stanley Medical College who died of Covid-19 infection, taking the state death toll due to the virus to 31.
After Chennai district, the largest number of Covid-19 positive cases was reported from Cuddalore (122), followed by Villupuram (49), Perambalur (25), Tiruvannamalai (11), Dindigul (10), Tenkasi and Tiruvallur, nine each.
As many as 22 police personnel in all have been infected by the virus in the State, official sources said, adding four lady house surgeons at ESI hospital, K.K. Nagar tested positive for the virus on Monday.
MILK SUPPLY HIT
Milk production at 'Aavin's Madhavaram plant was affected as many workers did not turn up for work in the wake of 'corona fear' and this affected milk distribution in North Chennai for the second day today.
Mr. A. Ponnuswamy, president of the Tamil Nadu Milk Distributing Agents and Workers Association, said government should ensure all protective measures against coronavirus at all the production plants of 'Aavin' and have all the 'Aavin' workers tested as a matter of abundant precaution.
FAKE 'SIDDHA' DOCS WARNED
Meanwhile, the State Health and Family welfare department warned against quacks and unqualified Siddha medical practitioners from making false claims against the curative potential of Siddha formulations, claiming to be a "cure for Covid-19" disease. Action was being taken against one "fake Siddha doctor" who runs a clinic in Koyembedu in Chennai, who allegedly spread "false information" about Siddha cures on social media, the department said.