Tamil Nadu will launch a Corona Containment Drive today in a bid to break the coronavirus spread as the number of positive cases in the state rose to 42.
The plan is to demarcate areas as containment zones with the residences of every positive patient as the epicentre, and carryout door-to-door screening of residents with a 5 km radius for any symptoms of fever, cold, nasal congestion etc. Those with symptoms would be moved to isolation wards for tests and treatment.
Senior citizens with major health concerns would be given masks and sanitisers and will be kept under monitoring if required.
Trained health department staff including Anganwadi workers would be deployed across the state for the exercise. Health Secretary Dr Beela Rajesh said, “Every worker will screen fifty houses and look for symptoms”.
Out of the 42 positive cases, Chennai has the most number of cases with 19. While twenty of the overall cases have foreign travel history, three do not have any travel history, giving rise to concerns over community spread of the disease. However, officials say these figures are not high to declare the spread as community transmission.
Although around 2 lakh passengers with travel history have been screened and 43,000 of them put in home quarantine, the state has tested only 1,500 people including passengers and their contacts, leaving room for a large number of possibly infected people yet to be identified. Just a few days ago the state announced few more labs including private ones to carry out the testing.
Visiting the exclusive Corona Hospital in Chennai on Friday, Chief Minister EPS said the state has 15000 isolation beds. Anticipating a surge in positive cases, the state government has also recruited 500 doctors, 1000 nurses, and 1500 lab technicians.
Meanwhile, the Chennai Corporation has appealed to residents to offer their unused lodges and mansions to create reserve quarantine space.