XE sub-variant scare: Int'l airport authorities to intensify surveillance, says Ma Subramanian

At the airports, he said fever screening camps are conducted regularly and Health department officials continue to do a two percent random sampling of passengers who arrive from various countries.
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Chennai: Maintaining that there was no detection of 'XE', the sub-variant of Omicron in Tamil Nadu, the government has advised the airport authorities to intensify surveillance at international airports, a State Minister said on Thursday.

Following the increase in new Covid-19 cases in the State, the Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian said the Health department has directed officials in districts to take up contact tracing even if one infection was detected in a region.

''There is no detection of the new variant (XE) in Tamil Nadu. Though it was reported in Maharashtra on Wednesday about the detection of the new variant, today the Union government has denied it. It is happy news. But, we have advised the airport authorities to intensify the surveillance at international airports,'' he told reporters.

Tamil Nadu has four international airports -- Chennai, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, and Coimbatore.

Subramanian noted the government was performing Whole Genomic Sequencing (WGS) analysis of those individuals who had tested positive.

At the airports, he said fever screening camps are conducted regularly and Health department officials continue to do a two percent random sampling of passengers who arrive from various countries.

On the increase in fresh cases in Tamil Nadu, they were below 50 in the last 10 days and below 100 in the last one month.

''There is an increase in cases in districts like Chennai, Chengalpet, Tiruvallur, and Kancheepuram. The district administration and the health officials have been advised to take up contact tracing if one individual tests positive. Since this one case can grow to 100 and later 1,000 cases in the district,'' he said.

According to the Health department, Tamil Nadu recorded a marginal rise in new infections with 30 people contracting the contagion, pushing the overall caseload to 34,52,985.

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