The Tamil Nadu government came on high alert on Sunday as the Covid count in IIT-Madras went up to 60.
The institute had registered 55 cases till Saturday, as 25 more people tested positive yesterday. With this IIT-Madras has become a Covid cluster.
The Health Minister, Ma Subramanian, along with Principal Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan and senior department officials, inspected the IIT-M campus today to take stock of the situation.
“New infections at IIT-Madras have gone up to 60 till date. As many as 2,015 people were tested of the total 7,300 at the institution,” Subramanian told reporters on the campus.
Radhakrishnan has urged the students to monitor their health and said if they experience any kind of discomfort they should immediately alert the authorities concerned.
The Health Secretary has also written to Collectors calling for effective administration of vaccines to eligible people, including administering of booster doses. Radhakrishnan, in the letter, said the recent cluster at IIT-Madras was a “pointer” to the urgent need to ensure and strictly enforce COVID-appropriate.
“The rising cases is a pointer to increase in surveillance and ensure self-health monitoring and testing is advocated…”, he said.
Radhakrishnan also paid a visit to the students who tested positive at various hostels inside the campus. With the surge in cases he appealed to them “to not panic”.
Tamil Nadu Health Department has advised the institute authorities to be “ prudent” and not let their guard down. They have also been asked to follow the Covid protocols laid down by the Tamil Nadu government.
CM Stalin to meet collectors
Tamil Nadu is seeing a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases, following which Chief Minister MK Stalin is scheduled to meet collectors on Monday discuss the prevalence of Covid-19 in the State, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian said at the IIT-M campus on Sunday.
Noting that the spread of the infection was largely under control in Tamil Nadu, Subramanian said the State was reporting nil fatalities for more than a month and appealed to the public “not to panic” due to the rise in cases.
Tamil Nadu stance on vaccination
The Tamil Nadu government has decided to hold a mega vaccination drive next month, he said.
“One lakh vaccination camps are planned across the State on May 8. The exercise will focus on 1.46 crore people who are yet to receive the second dose of vaccines and 54 lakh people are yet to receive the first dose,” the Minister said.
To those people aged above 60 and eligible to receive the booster dose, the department is administering the vaccines daily, he said.
J Radhakrishnan on Covid-19 status in Tamil Nadu
The Health Secretary said people continue to flout the mask rule in markets, film theatres, malls and the least the Health Department can do was to increase the awareness drive and enforce the decision on imposing the fine on violators.
On those tested Covid-19 positive, he said the samples should be sent for whole genomic sequencing to determine the variant or sub-variant, though only Omicron variant (of Covid-19) was reported last month.
“The situation is in control so far, but it is always better to be prudent, cautious and guarded and more importantly well-prepared and not let the guard down and also plan for effective administration of vaccinations,” he said.
On Saturday, the cases at the institute climbed to 55, the State government said.