CHENNAI: Fresh Covid-19 cases in Chennai crossed 250 by mid-morning on Wednesday and the number is expected to go up further by evening, health minister Ma Subramanian said. On Tuesday, the city reported 194 fresh Covid cases.
Subramanian visited a containment zone in Ashok Nagar 19th Avenue where 10 people have tested positive for the infection. The entire street has been marked as a containment zone and officials have pasted notices on gates of people who have tested positive for the viral infection.
The index case in the area tested positive after he visited a patient admitted to Government Royapettah Hospital recently. Health officials in the zone tested 83 residents and close contacts of the patient over the last couple of days, he said.
“This street has the highest number of cases in the city now,” he said.
There are Covid-19 patients in 507 streets in Chennai. There are more than 39,000 streets in the city.
Among the 507 streets, 420 have less than three patients in a street. In such places, health officials have declared an apartment complex or an independent house as a containment area.
In 42 streets, there are more than four people. In 18 streets, there are at least five positive cases.
The Greater Chennai Corporation, which tested more than 23,000 people on Tuesday, has decided to test at least 25,000 people every day. “Healthcare workers were tracking at least 10 close contacts of every patient. Since we know Omicron spread rapidly, we have asked them to do as many as possible,” said GCC commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi.
Health workers have tracked and tested 999 contacts of 27 patients with a history of International travel.
The city has 11 screening centres with facilities for basic blood tests and x-ray. Doctors will offer consultations to patients and advise them to either isolate themselves at home or get admitted to hospitals.
“We are asking relatives not to drive patients. Patients should not take public transport to these centres,” Bedi said. They can call 1913 helpline or dial #25384520 and a vehicle from the zone will take them to the screening centre, he said.
The civic agency has made arrangements for three 500 bed facilities each – in Tondaiarpet Communicable Diseases Hospital and at the urban primary health centres in Majambakkam and Injambakkam. These will function as Covid care centres where patients with mild or no symptoms will be admitted.
In addition, an 800-bed facility will be readied at the Chennai Trade Centre in Nandambakkam within a couple of days.
None of the patients who had Omicron variant or those had the S-gene drop required oxygen support or ICU admissions.
Tamil Nadu has so far vaccinated 86% of adults with the first dose and 58% of them are completely vaccinated. On Wednesday, at least 95 lakh people were due for their second dose.
“Vaccination in Chennai is better than the state average. Yet, even here there are people who have not been vaccinated. At least five lakh adults have not even taken the first dose,” Subramanian said.