As many as 27 students of a private school in Dharaparam in Tamil Nadu's Tiruppur district have tested positive for coronavirus, the Tamil Nadu Health Department said on Thursday, December 2. State Health Department officials said that 374 swab samples were tested, out of which 27 samples tested positive for coronavirus. The school decided to conduct swab tests on students after two Class 10 students from the school were admitted to hospital with COVID-like symptoms and were later found to be positive. Subsequently, they were admitted to the Government hospital, Dharapuram with COVID-19. School authorities said that except for the two students who tested positive, the remaining 25 students were asymptomatic and have been sent to home isolation.
The private school, according to the Health Department, will be closed for one week for disinfection. The Department also said that it will routinely monitor both government and private schools to check whether they are adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures on COVID-19.
Tamil Nadu Education Department officials said that they have been conducting awareness programmes for parents regarding vaccination and safety protocols.
New COVID-19 cases continued to rise in Chennai as Tamil Nadu reported 718 infections on Wednesday, December 1, including returnees from Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Bangladesh, taking the total state tally to 27,27,635. Eleven people succumbed to the virus, taking the toll to 36,492 till date, a Health Department bulletin said.
In view of the new coronavirus variant Omicron, the Tamil Nadu government has stepped up measures as a precaution. Irrespective of vaccination status, Tamil Nadu has made it compulsory for passengers arriving from at-risk countries — South Africa, Botswana, China, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Brazil, Singapore, Israel, and European Union countries, including the UK — to undergo an RT-PCR test at the airport.
"We have to be extra cautious regarding the spread of the new variant and hence the precautions. Door-to-door vaccination is being carried out effectively in the state and we are expecting to inoculate the whole population with the first dose of the jab in a short time," said Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian.