Chennai Corporation to give medical kits to COVID-19 symptomatic persons

The kits – consisting of zinc tablets, multivitamins, Kabasura Kudineer and masks – will be given to all symptomatic patients taking RT-PCR tests at government or private labs.
A health worker in PPE suit collecting nasal swab sample from a man for coronavirus
A health worker in PPE suit collecting nasal swab sample from a man for coronavirus

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will hand out medical kits to all symptomatic persons taking RT-PCR tests at government or private labs. The kit will consist of zinc tablets, multivitamins, Kabasura Kudineer – a herbal drink, and masks.

All patients exhibiting symptoms such as fever, body pain, throat pain, loss of smell, loss of taste, diarrhoea, etc are eligible to receive the medical kits. The Corporation adopted the new strategy after a discussion with a group of doctors and zonal officers from all 15 zones of the Corporation along with GCC Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi.

“The idea of a lockdown itself is to break the chain of transmission. It takes two days for the RT-PCR test results to come. In the meantime, it is possible for a person to infect others. Therefore, symptomatic persons coming to private and government labs to test will be given the kit and advised to home isolate,” the Commissioner said speaking to media.

Further, if a person’s RT-PCR test results turn out to be positive, the respective zonal office will send a team immediately, he added.

All COVID-19 positive patients below the age of 60 will be triaged at home by the team. Triaging is a method of assessing the severity of infection in a person and allocating treatment based on this.

“The team will check the respiration rate, oxygen saturation and other parameters of the patient and advise them to either go to COVID Care Centres, hospitals or be under home isolation,” the Commissioner said. Corporation officials are also requesting those patients who live in one-room houses or do not have adequate facilities for home quarantine to get admitted at a nearby COVID Care Centre.

“Many of the COVID Care Centres have reported just over 25% occupancy. Beds are available in many places,” the Commissioner explained. Chennai will also have oxygen parlours, that is, 100-bed centres in three regions soon, which will provide oxygen therapy to COVID-19 patients who need it. Patients who have an oxygen saturation level of 90-92 and require oxygen support will be admitted in these centres.

Patients above 60 years of age will be taken to screening centres for a CT scan and advised treatment based on the report.

Monitoring of patients in home isolation

The government has also decided to rope in at least 200 final year MBBS students to monitor patients in home isolation. These volunteers will be allocated to different zones and will monitor the health status of those in home isolation by making calls.

Oxygen beds

Chennai is also expected to receive 3,500 oxygen concentrators in the coming week. On Tuesday, 300 oxygen concentrators from Singapore had already arrived in Chennai and installed in the city’s hospitals.

According to reports, 80 oxygen concentrators would be installed at the Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet, 50 at the Stanley Medical College Hospital, 33 at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, 40 at Meenakshi Engineering College and 50 at the King Institute in Guindy. Forty concentrators would be set up at Chennai Trade Centre. The Corporation will also shift COVID-19 patients who are not very ill to Chennai Trade Centre next week.

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