With the sample of 12 individuals from Tamil Nadu tested for coronavirus returning negative, there are no confirmed cases of the infection in the state as of Monday evening.
“#coronavirus update: As per protocol, samples for 12 passengers tested for #nCoV & declared negative by #KingsInstitute. This confirms there are no cases of #nCoV in TN. #TNHealth continues monitoring & the needed preventive measures are being done. @CMOTamilNadu @MoHFW_INDIA,” wrote state health minister Vijayabaskar C on Twitter.
Individuals who are at risk of contracting the infection from exposure are those who have travelled to China or have come in contact with anyone who has traveled to China. Officials have asked those who meet this criteria to alert health authorities and undergo testing and take precautions as necessary.
As of Monday evening, several individuals across the state have been admitted for observation.
On Sunday at around 12.30 in the afternoon a man was admitted to the isolation ward at the Tiruvarur Government Hospital. According to a hospital official, the man is not showing any symptoms, but has been kept under observation because he had recently returned from China.
81 suspected cases have been placed under isolation in Pudukkottai, with several others in Chennai and Trichy as well.
A Trichy man who recently returned from Singapore was admitted with complaints of cough and cold and a slightly elevated temperature. Initial tests of his samples which were sent to King’s Institute of Preventive Medicine in Chennai, returned negative. Results of his throat swab samples which were also sent are awaited, but doctors have confirmed that he is now stable and on medications.
Eight Chinese nationals who came to Chennai on Saturday were taken to the isolation ward at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital after one individual was found to have a cough and cold during screening at the airport.
“We have sent their samples to Kings’ institute and are awaiting results. They have been shifted to a separate isolation ward. All individuals tending to them have been given the necessary protective gear,” stated a senior official from the hospital.
Hospitals around the state have been undertaking preventive measures and are on high alert for any cases.
“We have an isolation ward set up with 12 beds which will be tended to around the clock. Arrangements have been made for at least one doctor or senior nurse to oversee the ward. Ventilators and other equipment have been made available as well,” stated Dr Vanitha dean of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in Trichy.
“Over 6000 triple-layer face masks and other personal protective equipment has also been kept ready in case we do see any cases reported,” she added.
While over 17,000 cases have been reported worldwide, so far only 3 cases have been confirmed in India, from the state of Kerala. Officials have been working on contact tracing measures to limit the potential spread of the virus. Over 800 people in the state of Tamil Nadu are currently under observation either in their homes or at a hospital.