Chennai: Metropolitan Chennai was back on the radar on Tuesday, as persons testing positive for Covid-19 took yet another big jump to 552 out of a total of 688 new cases reported from across Tamil Nadu. The new development has forced public health authorities to order door-to-door screening in four zones very vulnerable to coronavirus in the city from Wednesday.
Out of the 688 fresh cases confirmed yesterday, 87 returnees from other states and abroad tested positive, thus putting pressure on the overall spread of the virus.
The latter included 23 passengers from Dubai who flew in here and one from the Maldives. Strangely, 13 others who had reached here from Dubai, Kuwait and Malaysia, who had initially tested negative, have tested positive for Covid-19 on 'exit test' today from airport quarantine.
As many as 50 others, including 49 from Maharashtra and one from Kerala who returned to Tamil Nadu also tested positive for the virus at various check-posts, thus taking the overall number of positive cases in the State till date to a whopping 12,448. The State death toll due to the virus also kept creeping up, touching 84 after three deaths were confirmed today.
Sensing the unpredictable trend in the Chennai hot-spot areas, Health Minister, Dr C. Vijayabaskar along with top officials of Chennai corporation, senior nodal officer Dr J Radhakrishnan and Health Secretary Dr Beela Rajesh, visited Covid-19 containment zones at Royapuram, Puliyanthoppu and Motilal Street, and interacted with the people on the steps being taken by the government to stop the coronavirus spread. He advised the people to wear masks and be hygienic to prevent transmission of the virus.
Dr Radhakrishnan later told reporters that with Tondairpet, Royapuram, Thiru.Vi.Ka. Nagar and Kodambakkam being red hot among the containment zones in the city, the public health personnel will begin a door-to-door screening and testing in those four zones from Wednesday. It will be both intense and rapid to help control the virus spread. About 200 health workers have been specially chosen for this arduous task, he said.
Of the 200 wards in greater Chennai, Dr Radhakrishnan said there were no fresh Covid-19 positive cases in the past three days in 37 wards, adding, the incidence was problematic in only 136 wards of the corporation area. It required a more thorough surveillance and control strategy, he indicated.
Meanwhile, Municipal Administration minister, SP Velumani said that in 407 'Amma Canteens' in Chennai city, the government will continue to provide free food to people thrice daily until the extended lockdown period was over.