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Coronavirus: Third person positive in Tamil Nadu, officials deny community spread

All positive cases in India so far have been traced back to either someone with a travel history to countries with reported cases, or to someone in in contact with such a person.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai |
Updated: March 20, 2020 12:01:54 pm
Coronavirus, Coronavirus India, latest coronavirus cases in India, Tamil Nadu second coronavirus case, Coronavirus India news, Coronavirus vaccine, Coronavirus treatment, Coronavirus deaths, Coronavirus china, Indian express A worker sprays disinfectant at Mahabalipuram in Chengalpattu district on Wednesday. (PTI)

TAMIL NADU reported its third positive case of coronavirus on Thursday, a 21-year-old student who returned from Dublin in Ireland on March 17. He is admitted to hospital and is stable. The first positive case in the state has recovered and been discharged.

State Health Minister C Vijayabaskar also said that the state’s second positive patient, a 20-year-old with no history of foreign travel or of contact with some such person, was not a case of community transmission. On Wednesday, he had said the man was a “domestic” case.

Originally from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, the 20-year-old travelled on a train from Delhi to Chennai to find work, and officials are still trying to find out how he acquired the infection. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Vijayabaskar had hinted he may be a “domestic” case. On Thursday, he denied that it was a case of community transmission even as officials said he had not gone to Nepal, as hinted earlier. While he is stable, 10 people whom he came in contact with him were quarantined overnight.

All positive cases in India so far have been traced back to either someone with a travel history to countries with reported cases, or to someone in in contact with such a person.

The 21-year-old declared positive on Thursday had been kept in home quarantine after arrival from Ireland, on the basis of his screening at Chennai airport. He reported to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in the city on March 18 with symptoms of cough, shortness of breath and fever.

The designated centre for COVID-19, the hospital also received the two other patients in the state.

Tamil Nadu has screened nearly two lakh people for COVID-19 in the past three weeks. Apart from the three positive cases, 3,481 suspected ones are in home quarantine and 39 admitted in isolation wards in hospitals.

Political parties in the state have called for total lockdown as a response to the 20-year-old’s case. Anbumani Ramadoss, the leader of NDA ally PMK and a former Union health minister, said the entire country should lock down for three weeks, and that closure of malls, educational institutions and movie theatres was not enough.

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