Tamil Nadu reports first COVID-19 death after three months

Director of Medical Education Dr R Narayana Babu said that an 18-year-old girl with no comorbidities was tested positive for COVID-19 at a private hospital.
Image used for representational purpose only
Image used for representational purpose only

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu reported a COVID-19 death after three months. An 18-year-old girl with no comorbidities died at the Government Thanjavur Medical College Hospital on Tuesday. It has prompted officials to send samples from the deceased for whole-genome sequencing to ascertain the variant.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Director of Medical Education Dr R Narayana Babu said that the girl was tested positive for COVID-19 at a private hospital. She was taking treatment at a private hospital but shifted to the GH in a bad condition. She had severe lung infection and was positive for Covid when tested at the GH also.

As per the hospital report, the girl had no fever at the time of admission, was conscious and had breathing difficulty. She was vaccinated with two doses of Covishield and this was the first time she was infected by the virus.

Cause of death is COVID pneumonia, respiratory failure and cardiorespiratory arrest. The girl was admitted on June 14 at 7:15 am and declared dead at 2:30 pm the same day.

The State last reported a COVID death on March 17 at a private hospital. Meanwhile, the number of daily COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu also breached the 400- mark after over three months as 476 people tested positive for the virus in the State on Wednesday.

The last time the State reported over 400 cases was on February 27 (439 cases). The test positivity rate on Wednesday increased to 3.3 per cent from 2.9 per cent on Tuesday. Chennai reported 221 cases and six districts reported cases in double digits. After Chennai, Chengalpattu reported 95 cases. Also, 24 of 38 districts in the State reported COVID cases on Wednesday.

Plan of action

State Health Minister Ma Subramanian, on Wednesday, held a review meeting with Chennai Corporation Commissioner and other officials to discuss the increasing Covid cases in Chennai and a few other districts in Tamil Nadu.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting on COVID prevention and control measures, the minister said instructions were given to strengthen surveillance on streets where clusters were reported. In Chennai, 46 streets had more than three cases and six had more than five cases. Stickers are stuck at 648 houses. Chennai Corporation has been instructed to increase RT-PCR tests from 2,500 to 5,000 from Thursday, Subramanian said.

All zonal officials took part in the meeting. Zones 9, 10, 11 and 12 in the Corporation had the most number of cases. Respective zonal officials were instructed to take measures to contain the spread. Meanwhile, officials are planning to open a COVID Care Centre (CCC) with 50 beds in three places in the city. They said there was no need for panic.

Samples from cluster areas were sent for Whole Genome Sequencing to Pune and Hyderabad laboratories. BA.4 and BA.5 of Omicron are the only variants being reported in Tamil Nadu, the health minister said. He added that health inspectors and volunteers will make calls to check on people in home isolation.

Speaking about vaccination coverage, he said, over 1.44 crore people are yet to take the vaccine, both first and second dose. Chennai stands first in vaccine coverage at 99.72 per cent in the first dose and 85.51 per cent in the second dose. But the booster dose coverage in the State is only 40 per cent.

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