Kanmani (35) from Tiruvallur tested positive a fortnight ago and was advised home isolation as she had only mild symptoms. A week later, her husband and her sister-in-law also tested positive and were asked to say in home quarantine. However, Kanmani had to go out for essential supplies as there was nobody else to support the family.
In Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram too, officials are having a hard time ensuring proper adherence to home isolation norms by asymptomatic patients. Also, many patients have been out in public places due to absence of proper tracking. “We are tracking those who test positive and also their contacts. Though they are advised home quarantine there is a lack of cooperation on their part. Most still don’t wear masks,” said a health inspector in Tiruvallur district.
Kanchi officials seal 400 houses in four days
Flooded with nearly 500 complaints in the last one month alone that many were not following quarantine restrictions, the officials in Kancheepuram have begun sealing the entrance of the houses of patients so that they cannot come out.
“After receiving many complaints that people who were asked be in quarantine are freely roaming on the streets, we decided to block the entrance of the house. In the last four days, we have blocked nearly 400 houses,” said Kancheepuram Municipal Commissioner R Maheshwari.
She added that the municipality officials and health workers have set up camps and have been given the emergency contact numbers for all the houses. “Essential items will be supplied to them every day if they convey us their needs over phone. In case of any emergency, the ambulances are kept ready near the houses and the people can easily break the block in their house and come out. We are identifying more houses and all the houses will be blocked soon,” the Collector said.
“All districts have their respective plan of action and tracing procedure based on what is convenient for the particular district administration. The existing resources are being put to maximum use for tracing. If required, additional staff is also being deployed to track the patients. All the asymptomatic patients are being traced. Those who need help can contact 104 helpline, and healthcare workers will coordinate with the patients,” said Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Dr TS Selvavinayagam.