15% of Chennai Corporation employees may be quarantined

The Greater Chennai Corporation is likely to isolate 15% of its employees following a serology-based screening conducted on Thursday.

Confirmatory tests will be conducted before commencement of treatment. As many as 500 employees in Ripon Buildings were screened on Thursday and the results were obtained in 15 to 30 minutes.

The tests revealed the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies in an individual, providing useful insights on the stage of infection and recovery of an individual.

Officials said a decision on isolating the employees will be taken on Friday, following further tests. The isolation is expected to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Many employees tested positive, causing a scare in the Greater Chennai Corporation. But over 250 have recovered since. As many as 40,000 volunteers and employees have been interacting with residents during the pandemic, increasing the risk of infection among civic workers.

Early intervention

Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said the number of individuals infected would have touched 14 lakh if the 80,000 residents who tested positive had not been screened.

The Corporation will screen more residents and employees to prevent the spread in various parts of the city, he said. Officials said ICMR serosurvey pointed to 2% exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in Chennai. The Corporation has been planning to conduct a serosurvey covering 12,000 individuals in various clusters of the city.

An official said the serology based screening with rapid test kits was approved. “It is only for sero-surveillance and for screening front line staff,” he said. Another official said the Health Department was going for RT-PCR tests in the State.

“For a trial like sero-surveillance, antibody tests are being examined. No official policy position has been taken so far for generalised testing,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 4:39:54 PM |

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