The Tamil Nadu government Monday declared an intensified lockdown in several parts of Madurai district, including the temple town, from Wednesday. The number of Covid-19 cases continued to rise in the state with 2,710 reported on Monday — the 12-day lockdown in Chennai and three neighbouring districts is expected to gradually arrest the steady spike.
The state has reported a total of 62,087 Covid-19 cases and 794 deaths, including 37 reported on Monday. Madurai has 849 cases.
“Trace, test and quarantine” maximum cases is our strategy, said J Radhakrishnan, state health secretary. Tamil Nadu has so far tested 8.76 lakh people.
Movement of people in large numbers from Chennai to other districts ahead of the lockdown has triggered more cases. Radhakrishnan said Tiruvannamalai, Madurai and Cuddalore are reporting more cases. “It is not the number of cases but it is all about testing and quarantining them, a strategy to ensure early intervention in maximum cases,” he said, adding that the number of testing per day has increased from an average of 13,000 to 30,000 in the last one week.
Radhakrishnan said medical experts hope the lockdown in Chennai would help to prevent the spread of the virus. “Our focus during this lockdown is to trace people with infection, for which we have mobilised a maximum number of fever camps across the city to find people with symptoms. Transmission of infection to other people will be reduced during the lockdown period in Chennai,” he said. Cuddalore, Madurai and Tiruvannamalai districts are following containment strategies in identified zones, he said.
According to the state health department, up to 70% of total cases continue to be asymptomatic while the remaining 20% have mild symptoms and roughly 10% require hospitalisation.
A senior doctor in a government hospital in Chennai city said the number of patients with mild symptoms have increased in the last two weeks. “We have been seeing about 80% of asymptomatic patients in the initial stage. But among those who come to fever clinics, 80% of them are with mild symptoms of fever, cough and throat pain,” he said.
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