Five new COVID-19 cases reported in Puducherry

Five new COVID-19 cases reported in Puducherry, tally reaches 139

Representative image. (PTI Photo)

Puducherry reported five new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday pushing up the total tally to 39.

All these patients hail from the peripheral pockets of the town. Expressing fear over the constant rise in cases over the last 10 days in the Union Territory, Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao told reporters that the trend gives him a jolt and already opinions were coming forth that in the country as a whole there would be a big spike in cases of the pandemic.

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"If Puducherry keeps reporting a high number of cases the administration would have to get ready one more hospital for accommodating the patients," he said. Presently, the Indira Gandhi Government Medical college hospital designated as a coronavirus hospital by the ICMR has 700 beds, he noted. Rao further said four new cases hailing from neighbouring Tamil Nadu had been admitted to JIPMER and these patients are enlisted under TN category. All the new cases now admitted to the hospital in Puducherry and to JIPMER were found to have contracted the disease through contact with the patients,who were their kith and kin and are already under treatment.

A detailed meeting was held with officials of the Health Department on Tuesday during which they were directed to tighten vigil as the present trend "is a cause of serious concern." Health care personnel did not have any chance to remain relaxed unlike the staff from other departments. "It is our responsibility to prevent spread of the infection," the minister said.

The Minister also said that most of those who had obtained e-passes to come to Puducherry were not also present at the addresses they had given. "The District collector had been asked to zero in on such persons through intensive checking," he added. Secretary to Health Prashanth Kumar Panda, also present at the press briefing, said, "the local people should act as community vigilance units and pass on information to the health authorities whenever they saw their neighbours had arrived from neighbouring districts or from abroad.
Unless people played a proactive role it would be difficult to battle the spread of the infection." He also reiterated that downloading of Aarogya Sethu app should pickup as present number of patrons of the facility was very poor and not encouraging. Director of Health Services S Mohan Kumar said the people here were by and large very slack and non-serious about the prevalence of the infection.

"There should be no misconception that the infection would not hit the young children. If one goes through the records of patients admitted so far there were children in the age groups of five, seven and nine years. On arrangements made for return of migrant workers from Bihar, Kumar said a batch of 1,500 workers would leave for their native places in the northern state by a special train on Thursday. "All these workers would be screened before they bid farewell to Puducherry," he said.

He said so far 4,090 people were issued e-passes and most of them were playing truant as they could not be found in the addresses they had provided to get the passes. 

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