TN health secretary as Covid cases rise

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With Covid-19 cases on an ascending graph in a few districts including Chennai, TN Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan advised the public to avoid non-emergency travels and follow safety guidelines issued by the government.

Speaking to reporters in Chennai, he said there is a surge in Covid-19 cases in Chennai, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur and as per health experts, the cases will continue to increase in these districts.

“If we fail to trace the contact of the infected person immediately, then it may lead to more spread. All district collectors should be stringently monitoring the COVID-19 cases. We saw a couple of patients who were infected with Omicron not having any travel history. We just need to follow basic safety guidelines by the government like wearing masks, avoid gathering in large numbers. Even the World Health Organisation has been repeatedly saying this,” he said.

Commenting on the vaccination status in the state, he said there are about 96 lakh people who are due for their second dose of vaccination.

“Kodambakkam, Adyar, Teyampet and Royapuram have more COVID-19 cases. We are taking measures on war-footing to reduce the cases. A total of 141 people have been detected with S-Gene drop in Tamil Nadu and among them, 46 people had tested positive for Omicron. 17 people are currently undergoing treatment at the hospital,” Radhakrishnan said.

He added that they are now indulged in focused testing at schools, colleges, markets, hospitals, etc.

Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said people with symptoms like fever, sore throat should immediately get tested and the civic body has kept all arrangements ready. He said testing will be further increased. “We have informed school and college administrations to ensure that students (including those in hostels) are not allowed to gather at a time in places like mess/ canteens to eat food. Random sample testing will be carried out by the officials in these places,” he said.

On Wednesday, Tamil Nadu recorded 739 fresh coronavirus cases and eight deaths taking the total number of cases reported to 27,46,000 and the toll of fatalities to 36,758. In Chennai alone, 294 cases were recorded followed by Coimbatore with 78, Chengalpattu with 64 new cases.

Meanwhile, a release from the Health Department said the Centre has accorded permission to the whole genome sequencing lab, established by the state government in Chennai in September at the cost of Rs 4 crore for issuing Omicron test confirmation report.

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