Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash said that the move would specifically be aimed at central zones particularly Anna Nagar, Teynampet and Kodambakkam. “This is a strategy to bring down the positivity rate in those zones,” he added. Prakash added that the move is not needed for the north Chennai zones, where the civic body successfully achieved lesser positivity rate.
As far as the testing strategy in Chennai is concerned, the Corporation has been modifying the testing methods based on the situation. During the early weeks of the outbreak, the civic body had been testing all family members of those infected, their contacts as well as extended contacts.
“We were also testing random residents of containment areas. Later we changed the testing strategy to test symptomatic contacts of infected persons,” a sanitary officer said. The commissioner said that an instruction has been issued to the zones by the headquarters to test all residents of particular streets and said that the officials in the field are working towards mobilising the personnel and equipment to collect samples. “We are also testing vendors of the streets if they report COVID cases,” he said.
The positivity rate in the city is between 10 to 12 per cent. However, the four zones in central Chennai region have 20 to 22 percent positivity rate. Around 60 per cent of new cases reported in the city are from the four zones. Also, the growth rate of new cases in Anna Nagar and Kodambakkam zones have reached 3.6% and 4 per cent respectively. A few days ago, the zones had registered negative growth rate.
A total of 1,336 positive cases reported in the city on Thursday were from 613 streets. Of the 8,613 streets, 82 are in Teynampet zone, 68 are in Kodambakkam, and 59 streets in Anna Nagar zones.