Coronavirus | Chennai Corporation gets Chief Minister’s Best Practices Award for conducting fever camps

City-wide initiative has helped limit the spread of the disease by means of aggressive testing and immediate isolation.

Updated - August 16, 2020 12:02 am IST

Published - August 16, 2020 12:00 am IST - CHENNAI

A fever camp under way in Royapettah.

A fever camp under way in Royapettah.

The Greater Chennai Corporation’s massive door-to-door surveillance and testing of 1 lakh residents at specially organised fever camps, conducted in 33,000 locations, has helped the city break the transmission of COVID-19 in many zones.

In recognition of its efforts, the Corporation on Saturday received the Chief Minister’s Best Practices Award at the 74th Independence Day celebrations.

The fever camps started on May 8 to improve testing during the pandemic. According to data, the camps have attracted over 18 lakh residents till now.

At the camps, doctors screen visitors for influenza-like illnesses and send their samples for testing.

Around 17% of residents who gave samples in fever camps had tested positive, officials said. The fever camps are organised in the vicinity of streets where the highest number of cases get reported the previous day. “We successfully isolate the residents, treat them and prevent transmission,” an official said.

Before May, the number of tests was around 4,000 every day. The number increased to 14,000 in August.

Zones in north Chennai had registered a decrease in number of cases owing to aggressive testing in fever camps, civic officials said.

For instance, Royapuram zone which registered more than 290 COVID-19 positive cases every day has reported less than 100 COVID-19 positive cases a day in August. The average number of patients visiting such camps every day has reduced from 60 to 41 over the past few weeks.

Alternative strategy

Nodal officials in some of the zones have changed their strategy to increase testing.

For instance, in Royapuram zone, officials are focusing on doorstep collection of samples.

Officials have conducted more than 500 fever camps in the city every day in August. “The fever camps are conducted by a team of doctors, nurses, lab technicians and data entry operators. Sanitary officers organise the camps with support from sanitary inspectors,” a senior official said.

At the Independence Day function, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami presented the award to Municipal Administration and Water Supply (MAWS) Minister S.P. Velumani in the presence of MAWS Secretary Harmander Singh and Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash.

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