CHENNAI: Even as Tamil Nadu reported 5,958 fresh Covid-19 positive cases, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar launched SMS service for receiving Covid-19 test results at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital on Wednesday.
The fresh cases pushed the tally to 3,97,261. Also, 118 deaths were reported by the State, increasing the toll to 6,839. Chennai alone recorded 1,290 cases. Chennai's neighbouring Chengalpattu district recorded 294 cases, Kancheepuram 329 and Tiruvallur 280 cases.
Speaking to reporters after launching the facility, Vijayabaskar said, the swab result of the people will be informed through SMS. If the person is tested positive he can come to the hospital, if tested negative need not to. The patient's mobile number will be collected while taking the swab.
Now, only people who are tested positive will be informed through the phone by the Corporation staff and people tested negative will not get any update from the testing centres.
The minister said the facility was launched at Madurai, Salem, and in Chennai at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. It will soon be extended to all the Covid testing centres in the State. He also said cases in Chennai under control and appealed for public participation in containing the spread. "Social distancing, wearing face masks and hand washing should be practiced," the minister said.
Phase II human trial of Oxford vaccine in Chennai soon
The health minister said Oxford University 'Covishield' vaccine trial will be conducted in 300 healthy volunteers in the age group of 18 and above as part of the multi-centric clinical trial in India.
The trials will be conducted at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research.
The health minister said, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has issued orders for the trial and it will begin soon. Later, in a press release, Vijayabaskar said the Director of Public Health Dr. T S Selvavinayagam will be the principal investigator for the project.
Studies have shown that the vaccine triggered T-cell response within 14 days of vaccination, and an antibody response within 28 days. T Cells are white blood cells that can attack the coronavirus infected cells, Vijayabaskar said in a release.
After the successful phase two and three clinical trials, the vaccine would be brought to public use, Vijayabaskar added.