Sixty-nine persons have been tested positive for the coronavirus in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 690. In addition to this, Health Secretary Beela Rajesh announced that 19 persons have been discharged so far and that efforts are being taken to prevent any further deaths.
According to the Health Department the source of infection of 63 persons was traced to the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi, taking the total number of people affected in Tamil Nadu due to the conference to 637. Chennai saw 39 of these positive cases on April 7, taking the total number of those infected in the city to 149. Tirupur district reported 13 new cases on Tuesday. There were 6 cases in Thoothukudi district, 3 in Thanjavur district, 2 in Ranipet district and 1 in Coimbatore district.
â€śThere are 66,431 people under home quarantine and 253 who are in quarantine under government supervision. We have also brought in more testing labs - a government lab in Erode and a private lab,â€ť said the Health Secretary.
When asked about rapid antibody tests that are now allowed in hotspot areas, she added, â€śRapid testing kits will arrive soon. We spoke to microb and lab technicians about it - we will decide how to do this. We are doing GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping for this.â€ť Rapid antibody tests are faster than the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, which normally take a day to process results. While the rapid antibody test will be used as a preliminary screening test, the RT-PCR is the only one that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
So far, 5305 samples have been taken and sent for testing across the state.
On Monday, the daily health bulletin released by the Tamil Nadu Department of Health and Family Welfare had replaced the words â€śDelhi conferenceâ€ť with â€śsingle source eventâ€ť in order to prevent stigma around the Tablighi Jamaat event and the people who had attended it. Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh also urged people to not stigmatise those who tested positive for COVID-19.
As of April 6, Greater Chennai Corporation created 67 cluster containment zones in the city to tackle the spread of the virus. Other than imposing restrictions on movements in containment zones, the authorities also do mass active surveillance, passive surveillance, contact tracing and mass disinfection in these areas.