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COVID-19 cases may surge in Tamil Nadu if safety norms violated, warns Health Secretary

He said though the positivity rate in TN remains at 0.9 percent, there is a chance of cases increasing if people compromise on wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and frequent hand washing.

Published: 22nd February 2021 07:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2021 07:52 PM   |  A+A-

Chennai coronavirus cases

Representational Image. (File Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: As Chennai continues to report daily cases in the average of 140 to 170, the Health Department has started cluster testing in places from where the cases are being reported. Fever surveillance has also been increased.

Speaking to the press on Monday after participating in the 7th anniversary of the Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital, Omandurar Estate, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that Chennai continues to report daily cases in the average of 140 to 170 and in districts like Coimbatore and Chengalpattu also the number of cases remains constant for long. In such places, cluster testing is being done.

"We began to identify streets from where cases are being reported and started testing their contacts. We are also analysing the reasons for cases in particular streets and also from where the cases are coming from," said Radhakrishnan.

The Health Secretary further said though the positivity rate in Tamil Nadu remains at 0.9 percent, there is a chance of cases increasing if people compromise on wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and frequent hand washing.
 
The Health Department till date collected Rs 13 crore from 14 lakh people for violating Covid-19 preventive norms, the Health Secretary said.

Radhakrishnan also said that the fever surveillance has been intensified particularly in bordering districts with Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Information booths also have been set up and thermal scanning is being done. Passengers coming by flight should have RT-PCR negative reports. If passengers entering Tamil Nadu show any symptoms, it has been instructed to conduct RT-PCR test on them on the borders particularly in Kerala.

In Tirunelveli district, many have Mumbai contacts, so instructions were given to the local officials to be alert on passengers coming from Mumbai as there is a surge in cases in Maharashtra, said the Health Secretary.

About making RT-PCR test mandatory for passengers coming from Mumbai as Maharashtra is witnessing a surge in daily cases, Radhakrishnan said the decision can be taken only after consulting with the Chief Minister and it will be implemented based on his instructions.

Cadres of political parties should wear face masks properly, which is compulsory. "We have noticed that they are not maintaining social distancing also and removing masks when in a crowd. Norms are the same for everyone. To prevent clusters, we are also monitoring such crowds and lifting random samples and testing as part of fever surveillance and this applies to all the meetings," said the Health
Secretary.

The district deputy directors of health services also have been instructed to monitor political meetings, he said.

Covid-19 vaccination

The state has covered 50-60 percent of healthcare workers in vaccination, and the second dose should be taken on the 28th day of receiving the first dose as per the instruction from DCGI. There are studies which show that if by any chance people who received the first dose get Covid, it will not be that severe, Radhakrishnan said.

The Health Secretary further said that the priority for healthcare workers was over, but still if they come for vaccination they will not be rejected. Once the turn of people above 50 years and below 50 years with co-morbidities comes, healthcare workers will be pushed to the category of age wise priority.

Though getting vaccinated is voluntary, village health nurses, nurses, doctors and other health care providers not getting the vaccine is a bad example for others. Both vaccines are safe and there are no adverse reactions reported so far due to vaccination, Radhakrishnan said.

All people who are involved in the election works including teachers will be vaccinated, he added

Dengue cases

Dengue cases are being reported in the state, and since one percent of people infected with dengue will have complications, people should be careful. Dengue clinical protocol is also being given through the Director of Medical Education to hospitals. Water storage containers should be monitored and cleared to prevent breeding of aedes mosquitoes. Instruction was given to all the district collectors, Radhakrishnan said.

Coimbatore babies death

The preliminary report submitted within 24 hours of the deaths of two babies in Coimbatore who died recently hours after being administered pentavalent vaccine cited that aspiration could be a cause of death.

However, the district officials will submit a detailed report in 10 days after probing the cause of the deaths from all angles. The State Level Committee will meet and discuss and till then people should stop speculating on the cause of the deaths, he said. The 27 children who were vaccinated in the same primary health centres are doing fine, Radhakrishnan added.



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