This Article is From Apr 26, 2020

Chennai To Test Anyone With COVID-19 Symptoms As Cases Near 500

Contact tracing and testing too is being ramped up and more than a hundred containment zones in the city have been put under strict lockdown.

Chennai To Test Anyone With COVID-19 Symptoms As Cases Near 500

Chennai tops the table with the highest number of Coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu.

Chennai:

With 496 positive patients, Chennai tops the table with the highest number of Coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu, prompting the administration to enforce stringent measures to fight the epidemic.  

The containment and testing drive is in the top gear in the city.

All the patients with cold, fever and respiratory illness are being tested for the Coronavirus.

Contact tracing and testing too is being ramped up and more than a hundred containment zones in the city have been put under strict lockdown.

The change of the strategy came after local authorities' door to door screening initiative - under which officials went to almost all localities of the city to screen people - failed to yield expected results.

While Chennaites supported the idea, they expressed doubts over its implementation.

At Tiruvanmiyur in South Chennai, Ms Sherina says, "Twice a person came and asked collected our names, age and details of symptoms of any cough and cold. The third time a different person came and got names again but did not ask for symptoms. They have not come for three days now. Government is taking good measures but sad that sometimes it is not implemented properly. Who checks whether these people really come and take these surveys?"

At Vanagaram, Dr Santhamarai Gokulakrishnan, Co-Founder, Betamonks Technology Factory Pvt Ltd says, "Appreciate the efforts taken by the government. They said they will come regularly but no follow up after that. They only asked us if we had any foreign travel. The government should be doing more vigorous rapid testing with instant results to stop COVID-19 spreading further".

However, Civic body official Prakash said that as many as 9 Coronavirus positive patients were in the drive.  

"There are 1979274 households in the city. Workers cumulatively visited 1,85,04525 households, 8,174 people with symptoms were identified till the 23rd, 463 tested for Corona and 9 cases were found to be positive," Mr Prakash said.

The state government is making special efforts to increase testing of the suspected patients.

"Very soon our daily testing capacity would touch 10,000. Already we are testing double than India's average testing," Health Minister Vijayabaskar said.

With 41 government and private labs, the state has already ramped up its testing capacity to 6,000 a day. Tamil Nadu has around 32,000 kits in hand, while 4 lakh kits are awaited.

"The need of the hour as the government says is to increase testing. Today we are getting around 400 to 500 tests daily. It's steadily increasing. We are acquiring more machines and deploying more staff for COVID 19 testing,"said Aishwarya Vasudevan, COO, Neuberg Ehrlich Laboratory Pvt Ltd.