A masked man stands for a thermal screening in a compound of a housing society. (Image credit: Shome Basu)
Seven people tested positive for coronavirus in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday with the total number rising to 74 and a chunk of the cases having links to a religious congregation held in Delhi's Nizamuddin West earlier this month.
A day after Chief Minister K Palaniswami said a number of people from Tamil Nadu -part of a group of about 1,500 people- who had been to Delhi recently to attend a meet were infected, the government said that of the seven fresh cases, five men had a travel history to the national capital.
Asked if the five men were part of the Tamil Nadu group that attended a religious congregation in Delhi, an official replied in the affirmative. Tablighi Jamaat had held a conference in Delhi recently.
As many as 14 people from Erode, who attended the Delhi meet, had tested positive besides the five men. Of the five, three belonged to Villupuram and two were from Madurai and they have been admitted to the government medical college hospitals in their respective districts. On the spike in numbers, Palaniswami had said:
"A big group of about 1,500 persons had been to Delhi and several from that group are infected. Of the 1,500 people, 981 have come back and we are testing all of them and it is the reason for the jump in numbers."
The other two are a 43-year old man from suburban Pozhichalur with a travel history to Tiruvananthapuram and a 28-year old Tiruvannamalai based man.
While they have been admitted to government hospitals in Chennai and Tiruvannamalai respectively, they had contacts with people who had earlier tested positive. "All the patients are stable and are in hospital isolation," the government said.
Palaniswami, meanwhile, ordered the extension of service of doctors, nurses, and other related medical personnel who were due to retire today, for two more months under contract.
The government, meanwhile, said as part of the active surveillance, as many as 3,96,147 people in 1,08,677 houses were surveyed in 12 districts for fever and other symptoms by over 2,000 filed personnel.
The 12 districts include Chennai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Ranipet, Salem, Virudhunagar and Erode where people who tested positive for coronavirus live. The active surveillance is on in both the containment (five kilometres around the residences of those infected) and buffer zones (an additional two-kilometre radius transcending the containment area) to ascertain those with symptoms like fever.