Coronavirus | Chennai police manage to trace a third of 277 ‘missing’ patients

Most are from Pulianthope, Washermenpet areas

The police have traced 90 of the 277 COVID-19 patients whose whereabouts the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) was not able to ascertain.

Most of the missing cases are from the Pulianthope and Washermenpet areas. When the GCC took stock of the COVID-19 cases in the city, including those in home quarantine, private and government hospitals and COVID-19 Care Centres, the numbers did not tally.

Incomplete information

“The details of those who test positive at labs in the city have to be sent to the Directorate of Public Health and the same is forwarded to the GCC. But the field workers were unable to trace the positive patients with the address provided by them,” said a senior police officer.

The GCC informed the police about the issue and sought their help to trace the patients.

“The police stations under whose jurisdiction the patient’s address came were informed. They called the phone numbers provided by the patient and verified the addresses,” said a police officer.

In some cases, the numbers were correct and the address was wrong and in a few cases it was vice versa. Some of them had switched off the mobile phones and some other had provided wrong addresses.

“Our officers went to each house and verified and also called the phone numbers provided. We were able to trace approximately 90 out of 277 cases, as either the address or phone number was correct,” said a senior police officer.

‘Ensure address proof’

Efforts are on to identify the remaining. “It is a tough task. The lab staff should ensure that Aadhaar card and address proof of the person coming for testing is collected,” said a police officer.

Police sources said one of the reasons why people don’t provide proper addresses is due to the stigma attached to COVID-19.

“The public starts ignoring the patient and stays away from him. This has an impact on them. Some even tie neem leaves outside the houses of COVID-19 positive people,” added a senior officer.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:29:29 AM |

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