The Tamil Nadu government is intensifying mechanisms to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the 12-day complete lockdown period. As an initial step, the government plans to fortify Chennai with multiple-layer checking, and intensify testing and contact tracing. The decision by the government comes in the wake of the complete lockdown to be imposed in Chennai and neighbouring districts between June 19 and June 30.
According to the orders issued by Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K Shanmugam, the government has zeroed in on eight pointers to effectively curb the spread of the infection during the intensive lockdown period. The pointers include restricting movement of people within Chennai, and to and from Chennai, active identification and testing, effective contact tracing at the zonal level, monitoring home isolation of COVID-19 patients, containment and quarantine management, microlevel planning and analysis of cases, and smooth patient management.
The government plans to test all symptomatic patients without any omissions to control the spread. During the complete lockdown period, the zonal officers are planning to ensure 100% identification of all contacts and quarantining them within 24 hours.
On restricting the movement of people, the order said that Chennai’s borders will be fortified with multilayer checking while internal movement will be controlled with barricades in critical locations. The government also plans to enforce strict perimeter control of containment areas and quarantine centres through security posts, CCTV cameras and community vigilance.
The Greater Chennai police have also planned active identification and testing during the intensive lockdown. As part of the measures, the zonal officers will be involved in active surveillance and surveying of the containment areas and quarantine houses to identify persons with COVID-19 symptoms.
Under the guidance of the Chief Secretary, the Tamil Nadu government also plans to reduce the waiting time for patient screening and ensure availability of hospitals and beds for patients.