How to get tested for COVID-19 in Chennai: A step-by-step guide

From testing to home isolating, TNM spoke to Dr Alby John V of the Greater Chennai Corporation to find out what steps to take.
COVID-19 screening
COVID-19 screening
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On Wednesday, Chennai reported 3,750 new cases of COVID-19. With this, the number of persons getting treated for COVID-19, including those in home isolation, stood at 29,256. To tackle the surge in COVID-19, new restrictions have come into place since April 20, and vaccination drives continue in the state.

If you are a resident of Chennai and suspect that you have contracted COVID-19, here are some steps you should follow. TNM spoke to Dr Alby John V, Regional Deputy Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) regarding testing protocol and compiled a step-by-step guide.

Get tested

If you come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 or you think you might have symptoms, the first step is to isolate yourself. And, proceed to get yourself tested in the following ways:

>Inform the GCC volunteer who visits your house for a fever check. They will arrange for transport to take you to the nearest GCC testing centre for the test and drop you back.

>You can also visit the fever clinics organised near your residence for an assessment and get yourself tested. Details of fever clinics’ locations and timings can be read here.

>Another option is to visit the static testing centres set up in every zone (two per GCC zone) and ask for a test, even if you don't have a prescription. The list of walk-in testing centres is available here.

At all of the above, the RT-PCR test is done free of cost. You need to go to these places in person, following all COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, including wearing a mask properly.

While no home tests are being conducted by the GCC. You can contact a private testing laboratory and get a lab technician to come home and take a swab sample.

Get your results

Once testing is done, patients whose results return positive are informed by the GCC staff within 24 hours. Those whose results are negative are informed by 36 hours via text message.

Hospital or home isolation

GCC staff will then assess your symptoms and take you to a nearby screening centre where doctors will suggest the level of care you require. Based on the assessment of symptoms and of the facilities you have at home, you will be allowed to isolate at home or will be taken to a COVID-19 Care Centre, or to a hospital.

Contact tracing

If you test positive, the GCC will undertake contact tracing of your family and other contacts, to ensure that they get tested and nobody else has been infected.


The GCC will not conduct a repeat test to check if a COVID-19 positive patient is now negative. It is understood that the patient is recovered either 10 days from the date of testing positive or three days from the day of all the symptoms getting cleared, whichever is later. 

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