Detection of Flu-like Symptoms in Daily Surveys Sees Four-fold Rise: Chennai Corporation

Representative image.

Representative image.

During the pre-lockdown times, about 600-700 symptomatic cases used to be recorded every day by field personnel and now it has crossed the 3,000 mark for a day.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: June 26, 2020, 6:31 PM IST
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Detection of people with flu-like symptoms during daily door-to-door survey has seen a four-fold increase after the lockdown came into effect a week ago, Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash said here on Friday.

During the pre-lockdown times, about 600-700 symptomatic cases used to be recorded every day by field personnel and now it has crossed the 3,000 mark for a day, he said.

The lockdown from June 19-30, does not allow relaxations previously seen for several businesses, shops and other retail outlets and only stores selling essentials are permitted from 6 am till 2 pm.

The curbs are applicable in Chennai and parts of Chengalpet, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur.

"Yesterday, 3,217 people were found with symptoms (indicating flu-like symptoms) in the door-to-door surveys. The number has now increased to 3,000 (daily average). This may go up to even 3,500," he told reporters.

The reason behind the increase was the availability of people at their homes -in view of the lockdown- when field survey personnel make their daily visits, he said.

GCC's health survey personnel visit households on a daily basis, ask people if they have any flu-like symptoms, check body temperature using thermal guns.

Pulse oximeters have also been distributed in the city by the GCC to check blood oxygen levels which are used in civic body held medical camps also known as fever clinics/ camps.

Early identification of people with symptoms was a big advantage of the lockdown, he said adding during the 12-day lockdown period if about 30,000 to 40,000 people with symptoms could be spotted cumulatively, it would be of great help.

Of these people found with flu-like symptoms, "doctors will examine and decide who should be sent for (confirmatory RT-PCR test for coronavirus) testing," he said.

Out of the approximate 12,000 operationalised beds - with availability of doctors and other personnel- in the Covid Care Centres, the present occupancy rate is 4,350 anymore beds including 5,000 at a Tamil Nadu Housing Board apartment complex were getting gready and 1,500 beds will become functional in a week at the Anna University premises, he said.

The Corporation has kept 17,500 beds ready in 54 CCCs in the city which includes educational institutions and others and about 12,000 have healthcare professionals.

The Corporation has recently launched a Community Intervention Programme, an awareness, case identification, vulnerable population protection and stigma removal initiative in 1,979 high population density locations in the city to reach 26 lakh people in association with 89 NGOs.

Over 2,300 field level workers are involved in the exercise and during visits they would identify people with co-morbidities and enquire about coronavirus symptoms and refer people to fever camps and urban primary health centres for evaluation by doctors.

In the past one month, 174 awareness programmes have been conducted, Prakash said adding skits, puppet shows and other communication strategies like putting up informative banners, posters were also being used.

Outreach workers follow up families on a daily basis and the effort has helped detect symptomatic cases early.

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