Two journalists based in Chennai have tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, after they exhibited mild symptoms of the disease. While one of them is a 25-year-old print reporter, the other is a 23-year-old journalist who is part of the editorial team of a news channel.
The print reporter was staying at a common lodging in Triplicane along with 5 other reporters and has attended a press briefing held by the Health Secretary Beela Rajesh. He had been shifted to the health beat following the spread of the virus but was not regularly going out on the field.
Another reporter who was staying with him in Triplicane told TNM, "He had a fever about a week back and a cold but was getting better. We were all staying together, buying food and managing. He wasn't really venturing out too and would only go to his office and then back to the lodging. He had no travel history and when we went to the doctor he said it was just a regular fever. But three days back, he went and got a test done anyway."
Dr Jayanthi, Dean of the Madras Medical College and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital said that the contact history of the patient was not yet known.
On Sunday morning, the reporter received a call from the hospital confirming he was positive for the virus and he rushed by bike to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Meanwhile, the city corporation has stopped any movement into and out of the lodging. Food is being arranged for the 50 people who are staying there.
The other patient, who works for a Tamil channel too was confirmed positive and had been going to office until recently. He has been admitted to the Stanley Medical College.
The Health Department has informed journalists that those who have been attending press meets where the two patients have been present can get tested at Bharathi college oppositie Stanley Medical College.
Other employees who have been coming to work have now been instructed to get tested by the TV channel to avoid any further spread of the virus.
Tamil Nadu is the second state in India to see journalists affected by the virus. In March, a journalist from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh tested positive for the virus.
The state has so far seen 1372 cases of the virus and 365 persons have recovered while 15 have died as of April 18.