The Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai, popularly known as the 'Vandalur zoo', would be closed to the public till January 31, a senior official saidi on Saturday, January 15. To avoid rapid spread of COVID-19, the zoological park would be closed to the public from January 17 to 31, an official release said.
The AAZP is located in the southern suburb of Vandalur and it is among the key attractions of the metropolis. A press release from the office of the Director of the AAZP said that the situation would be reviewed on January 31 and an appropriate decision shall be taken. Like last Sunday, a shutdown would be enforced on January 16 too in Tamil Nadu and restrictions like night curfew are already in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Fresh coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu reached the grim milestone of 24,000 infections in a single day and new cases in Chennai neared the 9,000-mark. The state on Saturday recorded 23,989 new cases and 11 fatalities. This took the total number of cases reported so far to 29.15 lakh and the death toll to 36,967. On Friday, there were 23,459 cases and 26 fatalities. Chennai recorded 8,963 new infections.
The number of active cases, including isolation, remains at 1,31,007. There were no new Omicron cases, said the bulletin. Chennai continued to witness a steep increase in cases. On Saturday, there were 8,978 fresh cases in the city followed by Chengalpattu with 2,854, Coimbatore with 1,732 and Thiruvallur with 1,478 cases, the bulletin said. Chennai accounted for 6.34 lakh positive cases while the active cases remained at 54,685.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary, State Health and Family Welfare Department, Dr J Radhakrishnan inspected the COVID-19 war-room amid a spike in cases. The Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Dr TS Selvavinayagam issued a set of guidelines for COVID-19 testing in the current scenario of surge in cases, as per the guidance of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). As per the guidelines, individuals with symptoms like cough, fever, loss of taste and breathlessness and those undertaking international trips and international travellers arriving in the state may be tested.
Apart from instructions on those who should be tested in hospital settings, the guidelines said individuals who are asymptomatic in community settings, contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 unless identified as high-risk based on age or comorbidities, patients who stand to be discharged as per home isolation guidelines, patients being discharged from a COVID-19 facility as per revised discharge policy and individuals undertaking inter-state domestic travel need not be tested.