Much to the shock of residents across Tamil Nadu, the Chengalpattu administration on Wednesday, published a Google map of containment zones, with contact details of COVID-19 positive patients, visible for the public to see. The map also carries the exact location of their houses in the district.
This leak of personal information comes at a time when patients are already facing increased stigma. The map which has certain red zones marked with numbers is meant to be double clicked for details. Upon clicking it however, the map reveals the gender, age, address, contact number and in some cases even the source of the infection. In some instances, it mentions Tablighi Jamaat as a cause for the infection or 'imported case' for other patients.
This is a huge breach of privacy for patients whose identities are meant to be protected by the state government.
The district collector however was unavailable for comment on the matter.
Moreover, this is not the first time that details of patients have been put out in public.
Confidential information including name, address and contact details of seven COVID-19 patients receiving treatment at Dharapuram Government Hospital in Tiruppur was circulated on social messaging apps in April. The patients had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event.
A similar instance has already been reported in the Nilgiris district where data of 10 COVID-19 patients who allegedly attended the Delhi event, was circulated on mobile messaging applications.
Meanwhile, as many as 987 COVID-19 patients were discharged following recovery on Wednesday, the highest in a single day. This comes even as the state recorded 743 new cases. This takes the total number of cases in the state to 13,191, while 7,219 cases are active. Chennai recorded 557 new cases.
The state tested 11,894 samples from 11,441 people on Wednesday.