Tamil Nadu charts new plan to contain COVID-19 cases in red zones
With the second-highest number of cases in the country, the southern state is embarking on an intensive new strategy for containment zones.
In order to control the spread of the virus in the 34 most-affected wards in the capital city of Chennai, the health ministry and city corporation launched an intensive ‘micro plan’ spread over three municipal zones in the city. People returning from other states and abroad continue to test positive, exasperating the problems caused by poor living conditions in containment zones and spillover from the Koyambedu market cluster contributing to the daily rise in cases.
Tamil Nadu has an all-time high of 13,191 cases who have tested positive for the coronavirus, with Chennai alone accounting for 8,228 cases. 87 people have died so far in the state.
The health minister, in consultation with the COVID-19 task force team at Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital, the Chennai Corporation and other experts, rolled out the plan after an assessment of the current situation. Called the ‘Namma Chennai Covid Virattum Thittam’, the plan was piloted in Royapuram, one of the worst-affected neighbourhoods with the maximum number of cases in the city. Other affected zones like TVK Nagar and Kodambakkam will soon come under the ambit of the plan.
A 500-member team will be deployed in these wards, including 120 sanitary inspectors who will conduct door-to-door screening of all residents with the help of a mobile testing lab. The mobile van will have an X-ray machine that will test anyone with a fever or congestion for symptoms of respiratory infections.
Those tested positive after this initial screening will be administered PCR tests, following which regular protocols of isolation, quarantine or hospital treatment will come into force. These zones will also be disinfected thoroughly and facial masks and hand sanitisers will be distributed in the neighbourhoods. This will be part of the medical kit distributed to each house that will include the herbal drink powder ‘Kabasure Kudineer’, zinc and multi-vitamin tablets in order to boost immunity.