1.15 lakh travelers screened for monkeypox, minister says

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Sample sent to NIV Pune tested negative, says Ma. Subramanian

Sample sent to NIV Pune tested negative, says Ma. Subramanian

According to the Minister of Health Ma. Subramanien.

Inspecting the ongoing screening measures at Chennai airport on Friday, he said that so far no cases of monkeypox had been reported in the state.

“In Tamil Nadu, we have started screening people arriving from the affected countries at all airports, especially Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchi international airports since May 20,” he told reporters.

“A total of 630 flights have arrived since May 20. A total of 1,15,332 travelers were checked at the four airports. Of these, 472 flights arrived in Chennai and 90,504 travelers were screened,” he added.

He said that based on suspicion, the sample taken from a person in a private hospital in Chennai after he developed unusual blisters on his face was sent to NIV, Pune and he tested negative for the monkey pox.

COVID-19 screening

The minister said random RT-PCR testing of 2% of passengers was continuing in the state. In one day, 120 people out of the approximately 6,000 travelers arriving in Chennai were subjected to an RT-PCR test. Other than that, all passengers go through thermal screening.

He said Friday that daily COVID-19 cases were lower than the previous day in the state. Noting that cases in institutional clusters were decreasing, he said of the 9,000 RT-PCR tests carried out at the IIT-Madras campus, 237 came back positive. “As of now, there are no cases of COVID-19 on the campus of IIT Madras. At Sathya Sai Medical College, 74 people tested positive out of a total of 1,400 students. All are well. At the “Anna University, all students have been tested and there have been 23 positive cases so far. All are asymptomatic,” he said.

At VIT Kelambakkam, 6,150 samples were taken. Until Thursday evening, there were 196 cases. Three students who had tested positive at the start tested negative for the infection

The minister said precautionary measures were being taken as family clusters were now being reported. “The majority of the samples belonged to the BA.2 sublineage. There were 10 to 11 cases of the BA.3 subvariant of Omicron. However, the infection is not life-threatening,” he said. He said to be careful because the transmission was fast.

“We have placed Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur under intensive surveillance,” he said. He stressed the need to remain cautious as new daily cases crossed 4,000 in India.

He said food safety teams have undertaken intensive monitoring of the quality of meat used in hotels across the state. Hotels without proper storage facilities and hotels with storage facilities but meat stored for a longer period of 15-20 days are monitored. “Within a week, there was intensive surveillance in eight to 10 districts,” he added.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan was present.

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