Chennai

Corpn. to keep tabs on those under home quarantine

‘Violators will be taken to government quarantine facilities’

Chennai Corporation officials and the police will gather information from neighbours about home quarantined persons stepping out of homes. Residents welfare associations have been advised to take necessary measures for social distancing, officials said today.

Once the Corporation officials find that the residents on home quarantine have come out of their homes before the stipulated time, the persons will be taken to government quarantine facilities. In case people have information about such people wandering during the quarantine period, they can call the Corporation Control Room at 044-25384520, and inform the officials.

The Chennai Corporation has readied 400 beds in hospitals such as Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet, secondary care facilities in Injambakkam, Tiruvottiyur and Manali.

Chennai Corporation Commissioner G.Prakash said “one infected person can spread the infection to one lakh persons. Zonal officers and health officers, be ruthless in your approach. If you are soft, you are violating your professional ethics. Being ruthless and strict is the only option. We will have to teach those who violate norms a lesson. Otherwise they will spread the disease. Be strict in quarantine follow up. When you shut down an establishment, officials should not have any ulterior motive.”

It has also started shutting down IT companies that fail to adhere to "social distancing norms" to contain the spread of COVID-19. According to the government order for COVID-19 infection prevention and control, exempted industries have been permitted to operate at 50% of the strength on rotation basis.

Persons have to maintain a distance of one metre, as part of the social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mr.Prakash said all the 4,196 residents in the city on home quarantine have to be advised to remain indoors. The civic officials are also exploring options of geo tagging such persons on home quarantine.

Responding to civic officials who pointed to instances of residents in high income neighbourhoods violating home quarantine, Deputy Commissioner (Health) Madhusudan Reddy said, “The police will accompany the Corporation workers to homes where residents have been quarantined. Those who violate home quarantine norms will be brought to government quarantine homes, which will be a hospital or a hostel or a school. We can send the message very strongly to the people that these officials of Corporation will go to any extent to lock you down under the existing rules,” Mr.Reddy added.

On Tuesday, Chennai Corporation shut down an IT company in south Chennai after officials found that the risk of spread of COVID-19 was high because the company permitted crowding of employees on its premises. The employees were allowed to work, sitting in close proximity. Chennai Corporation officials who analysed the data of the company found that the employees were frequent travellers who increase the risk of spread of COVID-19.

Six hours after the premises was sealed by the Chennai Corporation, the IT management agreed to adhere to social distancing norms, following which Chennai Corporation officials desealed the premises.

Chennai Corporation on Tuesday shut down most of its office buildings, asking residents to communicate through social media such as Twitter and Facebook, However, Ripon Buildings will remain open 24X7 to facilitate COVID-19 prevention.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Prakash directed the police to allow the functioning of pharma companies in areas such as Manali, to facilitate supply of medicines. Many police personnel have ordered the pharma companies to shut down, demanding No Objection Certificate from the Chennai Corporation. "Such companies have been allowed to operate. So there is no need for NoC," he said. In the case of Chennai, Chennai Corporation Commissioner is the competent authority to decide whether a service is essential.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 3:58:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/corpn-to-keep-tabs-on-those-under-home-quarantine/article31157794.ece

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