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Amid Covid surge in Chennai, Centre asks Tamil Nadu to enhance testing, contract tracing

The Union Health Secretary wrote that the rise in Covid cases in Chennai "needs to be addressed proactively and immediately to ensure that neither the transmission spreads further nor they do reach a situation of increased mortality due to late detection of the cases."

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
Updated: December 31, 2021 12:27:16 pm
On Thursday, the state recorded 890 Covid-19 cases taking the caseload to 27,46,890. (File Photo)

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Chennai over the past couple of weeks, the Centre on Thursday asked Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan to enhance testing and contact tracing and strengthen hospital-level preparedness in the state.

In his letter, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote that Chennai has reported a sudden and significant surge in cases. “This issue needs to be addressed proactively and immediately to ensure that neither the transmission spreads further nor they do reach a situation of increased mortality due to late detection of the cases,” he said.

The Union Government listed down measures the Tamil Nadu Government needs to implement immediately which include: enhanced testing in a focused manner with the maintenance of ratio between RT-PCR and RAT; pro-active contact tracing and isolation/quarantine of contacts of positive cases, their testing and follow up; setting up containment zones and buffer zones as per the standard operating procedures (SOP).

Further, the state has been asked to increase the pace and coverage of the Covid-19 vaccination drive and enforce strict and appropriate restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

“Continuous vigil should be maintained in view of the recent increase in the domestic travel, due to various events such as marriages, festive celebrations, vacations having either concluded or underway. With onset of winter and increased population in some states, prevalence of ILI/SARI and respiratory distress symptoms should be closely monitored,” the letter read.

On Thursday, the state recorded 890 Covid-19 cases taking the caseload to 27,46,890. Chennai (397) and neighbouring Chengalpet (103) districts accounted for the maximum infections. With seven deaths in the last 24 hours, the toll mounted to 36,765.

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