On Friday, Tamil Nadu’s new Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan clarified that the previous instruction given by Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) Commissioner G Prakash that anyone undergoing testing for COVID-19 in the city will have to undergo 14-day mandatory home quarantine along with their entire family, was only a precautionary announcement.
“In those two days between giving their samples and receiving the result, they may visit hundreds of people. The announcement was made keeping this in mind. Should their result come out positive, then it makes contact tracing that much harder. If they test positive, we take them to hospital, COVID care centre or advise home quarantine if they can afford it. If they test negative but show symptoms we advise home quarantine. If they test negative and do not show symptoms then it is not required for them. The announcement was made with good intention,” he said during his first press meet since replacing Beela Rajesh as the new Health Secretary.
On June 11, GCC issued a press notification in which it had stated that anyone who undergoes COVID-19 testing will be put under 14-day quarantine along with their family members. This statement raised serious concerns among many on the complexity of such a protocol.
GCC on Friday said that it had filed police complaints against 40 persons who breached home quarantine norms and went out. These are patients who had tested positive for novel coronavirus but did not display any COVID-19 disease symptoms. They were put under home quarantine and monitored by GCC.
As a result of their violations, cases have been booked against these persons. Seven cases of violations have been booked each in Royapuram and Tondiarpet zones, four in Thiruvottiyur, and three each in Anna Nagar, Teynampet, Kodambakkam and Valasaravakkam zones.
In a statement, GCC has said first information reports (FIR) were registered against these patients for putting other people's lives at risk. The GCC said those asymptomatic for coronavirus infections are home-quarantined and monitored, but there were complaints about such persons going out of their homes and infecting others. According to GCC, the contacts of such persons will also be quarantined in COVID-19 centres.
(With inputs from IANS)