Chennai: The Tamilnadu government today said over 500 people including Chinese nationals who had arrived here from the novel coronavirus-hit Asian nation were under observation but said no positive cases of the deadly virus has been detected so far in the State.
The government also issued an advisory, asking people to follow various preventive measures and this included “avoiding travelling to the coronavirus affected China.”
Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said the State government was working on a “war-footing” in this issue, adding, no need has arisen so far to secure samples of the screened persons as none showed any relevant symptoms.
Speaking to reporters here, she said 579 people including 68 Chinese nationals were under observation. The rest hailed from Tamilnadu.
Those under observation had arrived from China.
“All of them are doing fine, none has any symptoms as of now. But we have kept them under wait and watch surveillance for 28 days,” she said.
“So far, we have not taken the samples of anyone in Tamilnadu as the necessity has not risen,” Rajesh added.
City-based King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research could start testing samples soon after obtaining clearance from the National Institute of Virology in Pune, she said.
While an isolation ward has been set up at the Government Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital in the city, one more has been set up at a government hospital in suburban Tambaram, she added.
The official stressed on personal hygiene, highlighting the importance of handwash on multiple occasions everyday and urged that non-vegetarian food be cooked well before consumption.
The government was conducting regular stakeholder meetings and has issued directions to increase the stocks of hand sanitizers and sterilisation measures in airports in the state, Rajesh said.
Further, protective equipment including a body suit for medical professionals has also been adequately stocked. The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to 259 with total confirmed cases surging to over 11,000.