No coronavirus in TN; 242 from China under govt gaze: Minister

Pudukottai/Chennai, Jan 31 (PTI): Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on Friday asserted that there was no case of coronavirus in the state and said 242 people who returned from infection hit China were being monitored.

A day after he said 78 people who had arrived from the dragon nation were under 'house quarantine,' he told reporters at Pudukottai that the number of returnees has climbed to 242.

'As of today, 242 have arrived from China and the Public Health Department is in direct touch with all of them. They are all normal. There is no case of coronavirus in Tamil Nadu,' he said.

Such returnees were being monitored and were under home quarantine, he noted.

As regards a techie who recently returned to his native place in Tiruvannamalai district from China, there was no manifestation of any cornavirus symptom in him, he said.

Hence, there was no need as of now to take the software engineer's blood sample to check if he had contracted the infection and similar was the status of a student who has come back to Krishnagiri district, he pointed out.

The minister asked people not to panic and wanted them to take precautions like washing their hands and ensuring personal hygiene since the pathogen may spread through airborne droplets.

Besides, a woman has tested positive for the virus in neighbouring Kerala, he noted.

The Dean, Madras Medical College and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, R Jayanthi, told reporters in Chennai that a 40-year-old woman who returned from China last night has been admitted in the isolation ward for observation though she was found to be normal.

The lady was referred to the RGGGH by a government facility in suburban Chennai after she had gone there with 'very mild fever.' Examination by a team of experts, however, found that she was very normal and did not exhibit any symptom of the virus.

The top hospital authority said that the woman has been admitted for 'only observation.' To a question, she said the city would soon get a coronavirus testing facility.

People were being sensitised through IEC (Information, Education and Communication) materials like flyers and brochures about the infection that originated from China and precautionary measures that were needed like hygiene,she said.

Apart from isolation wards, full body masks, triple layer masks for covering the nostrils and mouth, goggles to protect the eyes for health care professionals and the people were in place in adequate numbers, she said.

The RGGGH, commonly known as GH in Chennai, is one of the biggest and oldest state-run hospitals in the country. PTI VGN APR APR APR