The Tamil Nadu Public Health Department will undertake testing of people at all crowded places including bus stations, railway stations, markets and beaches for Covid -19.
This is a shift from the earlier guidelines issued by the Department of Public Health (DPH) to test contacts of positive people who have symptoms or those above 60 years of age even without symptoms or co-morbidities.
The Covid-19 testing strategy has been changed as the cases are declining.
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan in a statement on Wednesday said that all symptomatic people, contacts of people who have tested positive, all those with influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infections, and people with breathing difficulties admitted to non-Covid wards in hospitals will also be tested for Covid.
Pregnant mothers, immunocompromised individuals, and differently-abled people are eligible for testing irrespective of their symptoms or co-morbidities.
The state health secretary also said that facilities used as Covid care centres will now be handed over to the concerned authorities step by step and a review on this will be conducted in the next 15 days.
However, he said that the health department would take this decision only after consultation with the Chief Minister.
The statement also said that 91 per cent of people in the state have received their first dose and around 71 per cent their second shot. However, 1.13 crore people are yet to take the second dose of vaccine in Tamil Nadu.
It said that 45 lakh people in the age group of 18-44 and above 60 are yet to take their first jab. In the 15-18 age group, 81 per cent people have taken the first dose of the vaccine.