CHENNAI: Amid the upsurge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the city, corporation staff are struggling to keep track of the movement of positive patients. Some persons who have tested positive for Covid-19 have been travelling by autos and cabs in the city.
A resident of KK Nagar said she took her daughter-in-law, who tested positive, by cab to the hospital.
"There was no one to drop us at that time and she is pregnant so we hired a cab to get to the hospital in Nandanam, without wasting any time," said the resident who did not want to be named.
In most cases, patients travel in autos and cabs as a last resort but drivers are often unfairly put at risk with patients not disclosing that they are Covid-positive.
"We will not get a ride if we tell them we are positive," the KK Nagar resident pointed out.
While the city corporation has a drop-off facility at the screening centres for those who have been awarded home quarantine, some slip through the cracks.
On Thursday, a 60-year-old Covid-positive person residing in T Nagar said he was forced to take an auto home from the screening centre in Nesapakkam after he was asked to isolate himself at home.
"I checked with a minivan driver near the screening centre if he could drop me home. But he refused. The staff at the reception did not respond to my queries because they were busy. I walked for some distance and took an auto home," he revealed.
Corporation officials say the protocol mandates that Covid-19 patients can opt for private hospitals only if they can drive their own car. Otherwise, they should call an ambulance. Once the screening is done, the vehicles belonging to the corporation are available to drop them home or take them to care centres or hospitals, depending on what doctors at the screening centres recommend.
"There are clear protocols in place. Covid-19 patients who have no means to travel can contact us. We will be able to guide them. Patients should not put others at risk," said a corporation official.
However, with a daily upsurge in cases, staff on the field are overworked.
"In some cases, the kin of patients go out to work and for other purposes without getting tested. When it comes to our notice, since there are volunteers who go door-to-door for verification, we warn them. We are trying our best but we cannot track each and every patient along with their contacts," said a corporation sanitary inspector.