COIMBATORE: As forewarned by the health minister, the number of fresh Covid-19 cases has risen sharply after the festival holidays. Data compiled by the district health department shows that the infection is spreading in rural pockets also.
According to health officials, around 6,500 patients are placed under home quarantine in village and town panchayats and 8,000 patients are in isolation in city limits. It may be recalled that cases rose rapidly in rural areas during the second wave, when the city’s tally started dropping. This year, the spread of infection is almost similar in both rural and urban areas.
Coimbatore district reported 863 in January 11. The tally gradually increased and now, 3,390 new cases were recorded on January 20. Speaking to TNIE, Deputy Director of Health Services (DDHS) P Aruna said a majority of fresh cases was reported from Madukkarai, Sulur and Thudiyalur.
Around 1,000 to 2,000 samples are collected from workers in industrial units across the district daily. DDHS said the blocks recorded nil or minimal cases from the these industrial units currently. She added the spike is due to family clusters.
“If one person in the family tests positive, the samples of other primary contacts in the house also renders a positive result. Besides, these blocks are densely populated, which can also be a reason for the spike in cases,” Aruna explained.
Madukkarai Block Medical Officer (BMO) A Silambarasan said most of the infected patients had a travel history only within the city and no returnees from across the district.
“As the Madukkarai block is close to the city, 70 to 80 per cent of cases are from Vellalore, Malumichampatty, among others. The industries contribute very meagre cases. The ratio would be of a 100 samples randomly collected, 25 would render positive results,” he said.
Thudiyalur BMO R Shanthakumari said they stopped collecting samples from asymptomatic primary contacts of infected persons as directed by the State public health department.
Shanthakumari further said the department is establishing micro-containment zones by cordoning off the house where the patients are living instead of sealing the entire street.