As part of the plan, the Greater Chennai Corporation has appointed Assistant Engineers as COVID-19 Response Team Heads across its 200 wards spread over 15 zones.

Road barricaded in chennaiImage for Representation
news Coronavirus Sunday, June 14, 2020 - 17:27

Over the past few days, there has been confusion regarding Chennai’s quarantine protocol for those undergoing testing for COVID-19. While the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) Commissioner G Prakash had earlier announced that anyone choosing to test themselves for COVID-19 will have to mandatorily undergo a 14-day quarantine, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan later clarified that it has only been recommended as a precautionary measure.

The capital city has over 30,000 COVID-19 cases, making up 71% of Tamil Nadu’s 42,687 cases as of June 13. So what happens if a patient tests positive for coronavirus in Chennai?

GCC has formed its own microplan for COVID-19 management and appointed Assistant Engineers as COVID-19 Response Team Heads across its 200 wards spread over 15 zones. These teams are made up of healthcare workers, sanitary workers, and other volunteers whose job is to transport COVID-19 patients to the hospital, identify their contacts and monitor them. Fever camps will be held in areas with clustering of COVID-19 cases.

Microplan for containment

As per GCC’s microplan, if a person is identified as COVID-19 positive, should they be over 60 years of age or identified as having comorbidities like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., they will be directly admitted to a hospital.

If the person does not fall under the above listed conditions (age and comorbidities), then they will be sent to a screening centre following which they will be sent either to a hospital or to a COVID Care Centre or home isolation depending on the severity of their condition.

The Tamil Nadu government allows even a symptomatic COVID-19 patient to stay at home and receive treatment if they are able to do so. Their health will be monitored by the Divisional Health Officer (DHO) posted by the GCC in each division/ward in addition to daily tele-medicine follow-up by a doctor and healthcare worker though the Portea app.

As soon as a person is identified as positive for coronavirus, officials will also start contact tracing. Both family members as well as extended contacts of the patient will be put on a 14-day home/ institutional quarantine as applicable.

All family members of the patient will be tested, and based on the results they will be recommended clinical care or home quarantine.

If the patient’s family is found to be living in a slum area, they will be sent to institutional quarantine irrespective of testing positive or negative. If a family member tests negative and if they are able to arrange home quarantine, then they will be allowed to do so. If not, they will be sent to institutional quarantine.

Extended contacts of a COVID-19 patient will be tested only if they show symptoms or if they are above 60 years of age or if they have comorbid conditions. However, quarantine measures are applicable to them too.

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