After two patients from Arumbakkam and Virgumbakkam tested positive for coronavirus, the residents in these localities are in a state of panic. Both the patients were said to be asymptomatic on arrival in Chennai. However, they developed the symptoms later and were found to be positive during lab test.
The Health department officials sanitised the neighbourhood in Arumbakkam and traced at least 10 primary contacts of the patient. One of the residents of MMDA Colony said that the officials visited the locality and took the primary contacts to the hospital.
Many residents from Arumbakkam took to social media to share their fears of being infected, and urged the government to release the flow chart based on contact tracing. If that was done, those who might have come in contact with the person or the route he took could get themselves tested, the resident said, asking whether a door-to-door survey would be taken up.
The third person, a 21-year-old who had returned from Ireland on March 17, was screened at the airport. But as he did not show any symptoms, he was sent for home quarantine. Later, he developed fever, cough, and shortness of breath and tested positive.
After he was found positive, Corporation officials sanitised the 9th block gate of the apartment and advised the residents to close the gate temporarily. The Jains Kences Retreat Flats residents’ association later announced that the 7th and 9th block gate of the apartment was being closed, while temple, parks, gym and swimming pool inside the complex were also shut down. “The people in the locality are under home quarantine. We request that no one should go near the area where he was staying. We have been asked to report to RGGGH in case of any symptoms,” said a resident from Sornambigai Nagar in Virugambakkam.
K Balakumar, a journalist residing in an apartment near Jains Kences Retreat Flats, said all the nearby buildings were sanitised. “One of the gates of the buildings has been locked. The neighbours, friends and locals who had encountered the patient were asked to report to the hospital in case of any suspected symptoms,” he said. “Many of the shop owners who were visited by the father of the patient have given their samples for test,” added Balakumar.