COIMBATORE: Healthcare professionals and the district administration in Coimbatore heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday when the district's last COVID-19 patient was discharged after defeating the virus.
The 31-year-old woman from Karumbukadai tested positive on May 3. While she was undergoing treatment at ESI hospital, she delivered a baby boy through C-section on May 8.
On Wednesday, Coimbatore became the fourth district in Tamil Nadu with no active cases. The district has not recorded any cases for the last 10 days.
A recap on how Coimbatore was able to flatten the curve is a lesson in itself.
From March 22, when the district recorded its first COVID-19 case after a woman who returned from Spain tested positive, the district administration has been on its toes to contain the spread of the virus.
The district administration initially barred the entry of vehicles into Coimbatore by establishing check posts at several borders.
Then an Erode-based female doctor working in a railway hospital in Podanur tested positive. Soon, the railway hospital was shut and she was admitted to ESI Hospital for treatment on March 29. Subsequently, the doctor's 10-month-old baby, mother and maid also tested positive.
Things were under control until a group of 90 people, all attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi, returned.
Tracking down the attendees proved a challenging task for health workers as they were scattered across Coimbatore city, Pollachi, Anamalai, Annur and Mettupalayam.
This was when the district administration headed by Collector K Rajamani played smart by holding discussions with religious leaders in Coimbatore to encourage the Delhi returnees to come forward for COVID screening.
As the conference attendees started showing symptoms, they were screened and found positive for the viral infection. All of them were isolated at ESI Hospital, with their primary contacts and others asked to undergo home isolation.
Collector K Rajamani told The New Indian Express that Coimbatore was one of the first districts that was able to track down many who attended the Delhi conference and isolate them.
He said the lockdown was beneficial with the police department deploying its personnel in many junctions to curb unnecessary movement.
Patients admitted to ESI Hospital were fed a nutritious diet besides being given medicines. ESI Hospital Dean A Nirmala said, "Both medicines and protein-rich food play an equally important role in the recovery process. The patients are fed with juice, rice and multi-grain porridge on a timely basis."
Besides, the fear of healthcare professionals contracting the virus was realised when two postgraduate doctors tested positive for COVID-19 on April 13. The two doctors were deputed for treating a group of attendees of the Delhi conference at the ESI Hospital. Later, they recovered and were discharged.
Deputy Director of Health Services G Ramesh Kumar said they have tested over 7,800 persons in Coimbatore to identify COVID-19 symptoms. He said around 250 people are being screened on a daily basis.
Coimbatore recorded 146 positive cases and one COVID-19 death, which was cross notified to Kerala.