The Greater Chennai Corporation will adopt a new strategy to reduce COVID-19 spread in high-intensity areas such as Royapuram, Kodambakkam and Valasaravakkam.
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Speaking to mediapersons on Friday, Chennai Corporation special nodal officer J. Radhakrishnan said the strategy includes roping in residents through NGOs for active participation in promoting the habit of wearing masks, handwashing, social distancing, disinfection of homes and nutritious food.
“Chennai Corporation has planned to evacuate residents from congested neighborhoods where intensity of COVID-19 spread continues to remain high. For example, Royapuram zone residents from ten congested areas, where around 20 to 80 cases have been reported, will be shifted to community halls. Their houses located in narrow streets will be disinfected. They will be given nutritious food. The Chief Minister has ordered the supply of nutritious food including fruits and egg for such residents,” he said.
Stressing on the need for promoting the habit of wearing masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Mr. Radhakrishnan said the residents who wear mask do not spread the infection to others.
“Around 75% of the infection in the city has been reported in containment zones, where other residents have already tested positive for COVID-19. The infection is because of meeting people without masks, violations of social distancing and inadequate handwashing. We request all residents to cooperate with civic officials in containment of COVID-19,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said.
Pointing to the decline of cases in seven zones of the city, he said zones such as Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Teynampet and Tondiarpet have stabilised. New cases stopped popping up in V.R. Pillai Street for the past eight days. Civic officials have been directed to replicate the success of V.R.Pillai Street to other areas, he said.
“As many as 2,000 areas are vulnerable. We are conducting fever camps in such areas. On Friday, 120 containment zones will be free as cases have not been reported for 14 days. Over 80% of cases are asymptomatic in the city. Over 77% of COVID-19 patients are between the ages of 20 and 60,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said.
As many as 70,000 Chennai residents have been tested, which constitutes 1% of the population and this was the highest in the country. Over 30,000 workers have been deployed for COVID-19 containment, he added.
Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said the civic body has sent 22,000 stranded persons and labourers to their home towns and villages in other States.