A 45-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday, making him the first positive case in Tamil Nadu. The man, who returned to India from Oman on February 28, is being treated at Chennai's Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital.
Authorities called it a challenging case as the test reports from Chennai were unclear and confirmation only came from the second test at the National Institute of Virology in Pune where the virus was confirmed. The man who works for an engineering company reported symptoms on March 4.
"Patient is stable and under hospital observation... Please avoid state of panic," State Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar tweeted.
#COVID19 positive for 45Y male who traveled from Oman.Due to d stringent screening process,we identified & isolated the Pt for further treatment @ RGGH Chennai. Pt is stable &under hospital observation,#TNHealth is fully functional to combat d situation. Pls avoid state of panic- Dr C Vijayabaskar (@Vijayabaskarofl) March 7, 2020
Twenty people who came in contact with the patient have been tracked and put under home quarantine by authorities. The man had booked a taxi on arrival and a doctor accompanied him on a motorbike to the hospital.
However, Tamil Nadu has not yet declared a state of emergency. "We are fully prepared," Dr K Kolandaswamy, Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine told NDTV.
So far 54 cases have tested negative, 1,243 people are being monitored and more than 1 lakh passengers have been screened. Thirty-four people have tested positive across the country including three from Kerala who have recovered.