Covid-19: Contact tracing an uphill task for Chennai Corporation staff

According to Corporation sources, door-to-door surveillance and FOCUS volunteers may be re-deployed after the elections to help counter the rise in cases.
Small workplaces are instructed to be closed for a period of three days if someone in the premise tests positive for Covid-19. (File Photo)
Small workplaces are instructed to be closed for a period of three days if someone in the premise tests positive for Covid-19. (File Photo)

CHENNAI: With several cases of asymptomatic Covid-19 patients and no travel restrictions in place, contact tracing this time has been an uphill task for Corporation staff.

Now, other than testing members of the family when a Covid positive case is identified, the contact tracing is mostly workplace-related.

“It was possible earlier to even identify those who travelled with the positive patient in the same mode of transport because only limited transportation was available. Now, they might have gone to theatres, travelled by share autos and come into contact with several people,” said a Corporation health official.

“We try to focus on the high-risk circles now, like those who share the same roof as the positive patient and we also undertake workplace inspections.” 

In workplace inspections, possible sources of infection spread like common entryways and lunch rooms are inspected. Then, large scale testing is carried out.

Small workplaces are instructed to be closed for a period of three days and large workplaces, for a week if positive cases are identified.

In the recent case where 40 staff of a Perungudi-based company tested Covid positive, a fine of Rs 10,000 was collected.

When a positive case is identified, their workplace is immediately updated in an internal WhatsApp group and Corporation officials in the zone of the workplace undertake inspections the next day.

“In many cases, positive patients are not able to recall their entire schedule for the previous week. We ask them a set of detailed questions to trace out as many contacts as we can. We also try our best to arrive at a possible source of infection,” said a sanitary officer.

A sanitary inspector also told The New Indian Express that they accompany the team for absentee voter registrations and have to balance several tasks at once. 

According to Corporation sources, door-to-door surveillance and FOCUS volunteers may be re-deployed after the elections to help counter the rise in cases.

“We don’t want surveillance volunteers to be engaged by local politicians to hand out campaign pamphlets and so on when they go from house-to-house. So, we are waiting for the elections to be completed,” said a Corporation official.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com