KRISHNAGIRI: More than 50 days after first COVID-19 positive case was reported in Tamil Nadu, Krishnagiri, which was the only district in the state under green zone, reported its first case on Saturday. The patient, a 67-year-old man from Veppanahalli, tested positive after returning from Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh.
However, the case has been listed against Salem district where he is being treated and Krishangiri is being shown as having no cases in the State's daily health bulletin.
Asked about this, Health Secretary Beela Rajesh initially said it was because he had been tested at a check post near Salem and taken directly to the Salem Government Hospital from there. Later she clarified that he had arrived at Krishnagiri, was tested in his home district and was only shifted to Salem on May 1. Nonetheless she said, "It is an imported case shown as positive in Salem district."
However, a Coimbatore patient who tested positive in Chennai on Saturday has been listed against Coimbatore district and not Chennai.
Meanwhile, Krishnagiri Collector S Prabhakar said the 67-year-old man went to Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh on March 21 along with three others from Krishnagiri town (two women and a man) and returned on April 25 in a vehicle along with a driver from Kaveripattinam Town Panchayat. All five persons were screened at Veppanahalli border check post and asked to be on home quarantine.
Sample of the sexagenarian was sent to Institute of Vector Control and Zoonoses in Hosur, he said, adding that the result on Saturday showed he had tested positive.
Deputy Director of Health Services V Govindan said samples of eight of his family members were taken on Friday night and sent it to Hosur for testing.
While three persons who accompanied the senior citizen to Puttaparthi have tested negative, the driver's sample was sent for test on Friday night. According to sources, health condition of the sexagenarian is stable.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 Monitoring Officer (Krishnagiri) R Kirlosh Kumar, district-level officials and the collector visited the area where the patient resides to oversee precautionary measures. Areas where the patient and his fellow travellers live are under a containment zone, his locality has been sealed and disinfection works are being done at the patient's village, Krishnagiri town and Kaveripattinam town panchayat.
Sixteen persons from Krishnagiri who went to Gujarat on March 10 to attend a religious event returned after the quarantine period on Friday midnight. Samples were taken from all 16 on Saturday and they were sheltered in a hall at Zuzuvadi, near Hosur. They would be sent home after test results are out, a revenue official said.
It may be noted that one man from Cuddalore district, one from Nagapattinam districts and two men and a woman from Kallakurichi district have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week after returning from Puttaparthi.
All of them had visited the town in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district in the month of March and had been stranded there due to the lockdown.
(With inputs from Omjasvin M D)