Lockdown not a solution, will complicate matters further: Chennai Corp Commissioner

The Commissioner also added that the city has vaccinated over 12 lakh persons above the age of 45.
Fever camp in Chennai
Fever camp in Chennai
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Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash allayed concerns among people on the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday amid the state registering 9,344 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the active cases in the state to 65,635.

“They are 200% safe. Doctors, ICMR, WHO, virologists have all said. Secondly, we have administered the vaccine to over 12 lakh persons so far. Had the adverse effects been a serious cause for concern on a mass level, we would have known by now," the Commissioner explained in an interview to a regional Tamil news channel.

He also said that a lockdown at this point would only be detrimental. “Over the last 1.5 years we have had a very good experience of the pandemic. Lockdown is definitely not a solution. It only complicates matters further. Lockdown is only a temporary situation. Moreover, it may lead to other deaths like delivery deaths that could not be attended to. Non-communicable diseases like BP, sugar patients may not get the care they require. Other surgeries may be affected,” he explained.

Earlier during the launch of screening centres, Prakash also re-addressed the concerns surrounding actor Vivek’s death and his vaccination just before that. “His death, definitely a huge loss, is unrelated to his vaccination. Technical details of it have already been shared. We will continue to popularise vaccination among people,” he said.

The Commissioner also added that the city has vaccinated over 12 lakh persons above the age of 45. About eight to nine lakh remain and they too would be vaccinated in the near future added. The city presently has 200 fever camps and the plan is to bring it up to 400, Commissioner added.

On Saturday, state capital Chennai accounted for 2,884 of the total 9,344 infections. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, G Prakash said that the corporation body will amp up sampling from 20,000 per day to 25,000 in the near future. “The key to reducing caseload is in identifying, isolating and treating,” he added.

The Commissioner also added that the city now has screening centres in 12 locations where persons who are testing positive for COVID-19 will be brought. The centres will be equipped with basic testing methods, the results of which will help decide their further treatment. This model of testing, screening and assigning COVID-19 positive patients to appropriate care has been quite successful in the city, Prakash says. “If their condition seems to be fine, we send them back home. Those who need doctor supervision, they will be sent to the COVID care centre. The third category is those who need to be admitted to the hospital,” Prakash explained adding that centres may be increased based on caseload.

The screening centres are at NSTI, Guindy; Victoria Hostel inside Presidency College; Tondiarpet Communicable Diseases Hospital; Bharathi Women’s College, Royapuram; Hussaini School, Porur; Tiruvottiyur urban community health centre; Madhavaram General Hospital; Ayanavaram ESI Hospital and government school; Community halls in Mogappair and Harrington Road; ICDS Centre, Anderson Road, Nungambakkam; Chennai Higher Secondary School, Nesapakkam; and Teachers Training University, Sholinganallur.

The health department bulletin issued on Saturday said 39 more deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 13,071 in the state. With the government laying emphasis on increasing testing of samples, the total number tested crossed the one lakh mark with 1,00,804 samples being tested in a day, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined to 2,10,77,500.

Chengalpet reported 807 fresh cases on Saturday followed by Coimbatore 652, Cuddalore 190, Dindigul 121, Erode 143, Kancheepuram 248, Kanyakumari 191, Krishnagiri 194, Madurai 235, Namakkal 126, Ranipet 193, Salem 289, Thanjavur 121, Thiruvallur 389, Thiruvarur 114, Tuticorin 261, Tirunelveli 246, Tiruppur 275, Tiruchirappalli 323, Vellore 175, Villupuram 106 and Virudhunagar 112.

(With inputs from PTI)

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