Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh announced on Sunday, March 8, that one person in the state has tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and is under surveillance at a state hospital.
“We are tracing contact history. Further, we are screening every person coming from outside,” said the Health Secretary in a press briefing. She added, "We are fully prepared. We have procedures to contain this disease. We have 1086 patients under home surveillance."
The statement comes after a 45-year-old man tested for COVID-19, becoming the first confirmed case of the deadly disease in the state. A resident of Kaancheeouram, he had returned from Oman and is currently undergoing treatment at Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital in Chennai.
A total of 39 confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus have been reported pan-India after five more persons tested positive in Kerala on Sunday. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja said that five new positive cases of coronavirus have been detected in the state. She said that three out of the five have travel history to Italy and were tested positive in India.
"Three people [a couple and their son] had recently returned from Italy and had met their relatives in Pathanamthitta district after which they were also infected," Shailaja said. The three had evaded health screening at the airport on their return about a week ago and all the five hail from Ranni in Pathanamthitta district, Shailaja added.
"As of now, their condition is stable. But there is need to take extra care", the minister said. "The relatives approached the hospital reporting symptoms and have now been kept in isolation wards," she added.
World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday said that all countries should make containing the coronavirus outbreak their top priority. The novel virus, termed COVID-19 by the WHO, first originated in China’s Wuhan city in late December 2019 and has spread to more than 95 countries, including the United States and India.
Hubei Province, the epicentre of the viral outbreak, reported 41 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 27 deaths on Saturday, the provincial health commission stated on Sunday. Globally, the number of infected cases increased to 101,827 and death toll soar to 3,484.
(With agency inputs)