A hairdresser who is a resident of Valasaravakkam area in Chennai tested positive for the coronavirus on April 26. The 36-year-old who runs a salon in the Koyambedu area reported a fever on April 23 and was referred to Kilpauk Medical College Hospital in Chennai where he tested positive for the virus. Health officials along with Koyambedu police are currently tracing all the persons he came in contact with recently.
TNM spoke to health officials who confirmed that the man had kept his saloon open and also visited the homes of people to give them a haircut and massage. So far, 32 persons from Valasaravakkam, Nerkundram and Koyambedu areas have been placed under home quarantine for coming into contact with the hairdresser. A health official tells TNM, â€śHe had given us about 25 contacts. We have traced 32 and sent their samples for testing.â€ť
Speaking to TNM, a police official from Koyambedu police station says, â€śHe has been visiting about 10 to 15 customers in their homes daily. We are in the process of testing all of them. We are yet to ascertain his source of infection."
When asked if a First Information Report (FIR) will be registered against the man for going on about his work illegally while lockdown is in place, with hairdressing not falling under essential services, the official says no.
According to reports, the man has also kept his salon open, where customers, including a truck driver from Erode, seem to have walked in.
This is the second time health officials are tracing a hairdresserâ€™s contacts in the city. The first was one of the earliest cases in Chennai when a 20-year-old hairdresser traveled to the city via train from Delhi and tested positive for the infection.
He was the stateâ€™s second case and when it was revealed that he had worked in a salon for a few days before testing positive, authorities went about the Arumbakkam area, where the man had stayed and worked, asking people if they had been to that particular salon in recent times. In that case too, health authorities were unable to trace the source of infection.
As on April 27, Chennai has 570 COVID-19 cases of which Koyambedu (zone 10) has 54 cases and Valasaravakkam (zone 11) has 17 cases.
(With inputs from Priyanka Thirumurthy)