CHENNAI: The Chennai corporation will have a weekly meeting with representatives of private labs hereon after warning them for not sending details about positive COVID-19 cases. This gap in reporting has led to many cases falling through the cracks, without being followed up by the corporation despite having a well-oiled mechanism to handle COVID-19 patients since last year.
A corporation official in the Teynampet zone told The New Indian Express that private labs have been asked to send details of positive cases to the government body before sending the results to patients.
“In a few cases, the patient is alerted that he/she is positive through the private labs before we come to know. When we call them, they tell us that they are on their way to their hometowns because they only work here and there’s no one to take care of them. Several people would be exposed through them and there’s nothing we can do,” said the official.
“So now, since last week, we’ve made sure that we receive the results first before the patients are alerted,” the official added.
KN Vasudevan of ward 121 in Mylapore said that nobody else in the apartment complex knew that a family had tested positive since corporation officials did not visit the premises. It was later learnt that the family was tested at a private lab.
“No disinfection was done at the premises and the usual process was not followed before residents brought the issue to the corporation's notice. It was only after they had recovered that we came to know that they were positive,” he said.
A senior corporation official told The New Indian Express that a meeting was held with representatives of private labs last Saturday and it has been decided to hold meetings with them weekly to ensure that due process is followed.
“In some cases, we do not receive information on positive cases from private labs and in some others, they give us inconsistent reports (positive report to the patient and negative to the city corporation or vice versa). So, we’ve issued them a warning,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the city corporation has also asked private hospitals and practitioners of general medicines to submit details of COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients (with symptoms).
The civic body has learnt that apart from private hospitals, people with symptoms are being treated at private clinics or by general medicine practitioners and this information is not being shared with it.
Hospitals, clinics and individual practitioners should submit details of the patient's name, age, address, mobile phone numbers and symptoms to email@example.com. If they fail to do so, action will be initiated against them, the release stated.
A committee of Chennai corporation entomologists will be the nodal officers to oversee the process. They have been engaged as mosquito control work is not taking place right now.