A 21-year-old youth who returned from Delhi has been tested positive with the novel coronavirus in Tamil Nadu on Thursday (March 19), taking the number of cases in the state to three.
Confirming the case, state health minister C Vijayabaskar said the youth had returned from Dublin in Ireland on March 17 was tested positive of coronavirus on Wednesday.
However, the state health officials are trying to find out how the youth would have contracted the disease. Vijayabaskar said the student was screened and put under home quarantine on his return.
But, he reported back on Wednesday with the symptoms of the virus and his sample were taken for test. He was kept in quarantine at Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital, Chennai. The 21-year-old is said to be stable and he is being monitored continuously.
Meanwhile, the second person infected with the epidemic was kept under hospital quarantine and is also said to be stable.
However, health officials are making frantic research to know how the second patient was infected with the virus.
According to sources, the 19-year-old, a native of Uttar Pradesh, travelled to Delhi before reaching Chennai, on March 12. He has been staying along with his friend at Arumbakkam while he was in search of a job.
After having a fever and cough, the teen on March 17 had approached RGGH and was admitted to the isolation ward. Upon testing his samples, doctors confirmed that he was infected with the coronavirus. However, the officials were shocked to know about his travel history in the last few days.
“He neither had been to any foreign country nor got in touch with any person from a foreign country. However, we do not know whether he got infected during his travel from Delhi to Chennai or when he was in Delhi or Chennai,” a doctor at RGGH said, requesting anonymity.
Meanwhile, health department officials have managed to trace four of his roommates and six other people who have been in contact with him and have been kept under home quarantine.
“We do not know how many people travelled along with him on the train. We have sought the help of the railways to trace the coach he travelled from Delhi to Chennai,” a health department official said.
Health Secretary Beela Rajesh also added that they have reached out to the Delhi government to trace his contact history in Delhi.
According to reports, there were complaints that despite the coronavirus scare, there were no screening facilities at the railway stations across the city. Taking note the issue, a couple of days ago, railways have started to screen the people upon their arrival.
However, railway officials denied it and said they have been screening all the passengers for the last one week.
On Thursday, officials at Chennai International Airport started screening the domestic passengers. Due to the corona scare and low occupancy at flights, as many as 118 flights including 61 domestic and 57 international flights at Chennai International Airport have been cancelled.
In Tamil Nadu, as many as 1,94,236 passengers were screened and 39 people’s samples were tested and kept in hospital quarantined until Thursday.
The health minister said that they were able to identify all the three patients only because of stringent screening and follow up.
Urging the people to extend full support, Vijayabaskar tweeted, “Screening will be intensified at all ports of arrival to curtail the spread.”