The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will organise additional fever camps from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. to cover more residents of the city. At present, the civic body conducts over 500 camps per day during the day.
Principal Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan, participating in a health camp at NSK Nagar in Anna Nagar, said that as more positivity rates are prevailing in some GCC zones, more fever camps would be held to bring down the percentage of the COVID-19 positive cases. He said health camps would be held near offices from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and in residential areas between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Mr. Radhakrishnan said a second sero-survey is proposed to be conducted by the civic body in low-income areas, selecting random streets, to ascertain the immunity level of persons who were previously affected by COVID-19.
GCC Commissioner G. Prakash pointed out the positive features of organising such fever camps in identifying symptomatic patients and also in preventing other diseases. He said the intensive fever camps would be held continuously for another three to four months and advised residents not to let down their guard against the virus. People must wear masks and adhere to safety protocols in work spaces, he said.
Testing rate trebled
Mr. Prakash said based on the directions of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, the testing rate was trebled from the second week of June, with more than 16 lakh persons tested for COVID-19, which in percentage terms, is 20%. He said Chennai is the first city in the country to cover 20% of the total city population. He was confident that if this testing rate continued, the positivity rate could be brought down to 5%.
Mr. Prakash pointed out that by organising intensive fever camps and strict quarantine rules, the doubling time of cases in the city stands at 93 days though the Indian Council of Medical Research has set the doubling standard at 14 days.
According to figures released by the civic body 56,904 fever clinics were conducted from May 5 (when the first fever camp was organised) until Wednesday. A total of 28.93 lakh people attended the clinics with 1.68 lakh symptomatic patients identified for COVID-19.
Thiru Vi Ka Nagar zone witnessed the highest number of 3,23,970 persons visiting the 5,356 camps while Teynampet, by holding close to 6,000 camps saw 3,12,435 persons participating. The total positive cases detected through the fever camps stood at 26,034 (16%) out of 1,66,253 influenza like illness (ILI) cases detected.
A senior official of the health department of the civic body said though the average number of persons attending the fever camps now stands at 51, during the lockdown period, the footfalls were in the range of 70 to 80 persons per camp. He said the unlocking of offices and commercial establishments has resulted in the number of persons visiting the camps coming down, as many people have to go to their workplaces.