Now, autorickshaws in Chennai ferry passengers from fever camps to labs and back home

The drivers take passengers from fever camps to labs and then back home   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Greater Chennai Corporation has introduced autorickshaws to ferry people from fever camps to the nearest testing lab and then back home, to ensure that all COVID- 19 suspected cases are tested. This initiative was introduced in a few zones two days ago, and is being carried out in a full-fledged manner in the southern parts of the city.

The autorickshaw drivers wear personal protective equipment and a plastic sheet will soon also be fixed between the driver and passenger to make the driver feel more secure, official said.

“Fever camps are being conducted in all the divisions across the city. Whenever a person shows some symptoms, he/she is asked to take a test. Sometimes they get it done immediately, sometimes they do it after a few days,” said Alby John, Regional Deputy Commissioner, (South).

To ensure that the case identified is sampled/tested without any delay, the autorickshaw service has been arranged by the GCC. “The driver picks the patient from the camp, drops him/her at the lab and waits, then drops the passenger back at their house,” said N. Thirumurugan, zonal officer, Adyar. He said that this way, none of the cases will be missed. Besides if the person with symptoms uses any other mode of transport, the chances of him/her spreading it is high, he added.

On an average, a driver ferries 15 passengers per day and two autorickshaws have been provided for each division. Though a few autorickshaw drivers expressed concerns of safety, many have been offering their services without fear.

“Since we have provided them with the protective suit, there is not much fear. Besides, all the suspected cases are not COVID-19 positive. We are also going to fix a plastic sheet between the driver and passenger to instil a sense of safety,” added a senior GCC official.

Sukumar, a middle-aged man who had brought his friend to a fever camp in Maduvankarai, Guindy said that this was a practical approach. “This way we don’t have to rely on other transport modes. It is very convenient,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 1:52:53 PM |

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