Chennai: Two Thailand nationals and a New Zealander have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, taking the total cases so far to six. Of them, one had been discharged following treatment.
Health Minister C Vijayabaskar on Saturday confirmed the three new cases saying the foreign nationals were admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai. All six cases had a travel history but these were the first cases of foreign nationals testing positive for the pandemic in this part of India.
“All six positive cases are imported cases from different regions with travel histories and not community transmitted. The new cases were already quarantined and in our radar. Screening has been intensified at all ports of arrival including railway, domestic arrivals and interstate borders,” he said.
Meanwhile, leading Tamil film star Rajinikanth and BJP’s newly appointed state president L Murugan fell for WhatsApp forwards on the Coronavirus. In a video message supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an 14-hour ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday, Rajinikanth said staying indoors during the curfew period will break the Coronavirus chain, which he claimed had a survival life of only 12 hours on any surface. Murugan in a poster said Modi’s 14-hour curfew call had a scientific element to it as it can break the COVID-19 chain.
Many Twitter users called out Rajinikanth for his ignorance. They pointed out that the virus could survive between four hours to 72 hours on different surfaces and there was no scientific basis to his claims. One Twitter user pointed out, “If the virus chain can be broken in 12 hours, can’t the government simply impose a curfew between 9 pm and 9 am?”
Twitter removes Rajinikanth’s video
Within hours of the Twitterati calling out actor Rajinikanth for his unscientific claim that the ‘Janata Curfew’will break the Coronavirus chain, Twitter pulled down his video message as it violated rules on presenting facts. The video, however, continued to be available on his YouTube channel.