Continue masking up in public spaces, says Ma Subramanian

Random testing of 2% international travellers at airports withdrawn
Residents attending a free medical camp in Chennai on Sunday. (Photo | R Satish Babu)
Residents attending a free medical camp in Chennai on Sunday. (Photo | R Satish Babu)

CHENNAI: In Tamil Nadu, like other States, guidelines for mandatory face masks have not been withdrawn and continue to be in practice in public spaces, said Health Minister Ma Subramanian. This comes as the Union Government has withdrawn guidelines in Indian airports a week ago. Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases have dipped with TN reporting only 25 cases in the past 24 hours.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, the minister noted that some people wear masks in crowded public spaces while others do not. “When TN reported H1N1 cases, the health department insisted that children don face masks to prevent the spread of infection. It is advised that the affected people continue to wear masks, and the unaffected choose to do so,” he added.

New norms issued
The Directorate of Public Health on Sunday issued new Covid-19 testing guidelines for international passengers and others. As per new guidelines, random testing for 2% of international passengers at airports was withdrawn. “All symptomatic patients should be tested and isolated from other passengers. Thermal screening should be done at the entry point for passengers. All travellers should be fully-vaccinated and self-monitor their health. If they are symptomatic post travel, they are to report to the nearest health facility,” it said.

The DPH added, there is no need to test asymptomatic persons even in hospital settings. This includes those undergoing surgical, non-surgical invasive procedures, and pregnant women hospitalised for labour. “Even in community settings, only symptomatic persons should be tested and no need for tests for patients who had been discharged from Covid-19 facilities,” the guidelines said.

Meanwhile, the health minister noted, that while other countries are reporting nearly zero cases, China is witnessing a spike in the infection rate. “In European countries, the order for mandatory face masks was withdrawn and they stopped RT-PCR tests,” he added.

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