The city has witnessed the emergence of two major Covid clusters in the span of about a fortnight, recording over 40 infections and the death of a woman with comorbidity.
A gated community in Sholinganallur here has emerged as the second major Covid-19 cluster, seen as different from the first one at Kilpauk which was a religious gathering.
As many as 23 people including 15 adults who have taken either single or two doses of COVID vaccine and six children have tested positive in the latest cluster, Dr. J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, said on Friday.
This second major cluster, in Zone 15 on Model School Road, Sholinganallur (two blocks) has come as a surprise to the health officials who have been hectically involved in sensitizing people on pandemic-related safety precautions.
Earlier, a religious gathering at Varadhammal Garden Street near Kilpauk in the metro on August 2 at a temple turned out to be a virus spreader, infecting 24 people and leaving a 47-year old woman with comorbid conditions dead.
Nearly 300 people had gathered for the annual religious event and even the trustees of the temple contracted the virus, a senior official said. At the Sholinganallur cluster, a total of 398 samples were lifted from the people at the apartments, and of them 23 tested positive.
Among the infected, four had been administered with a single dose of Covid vaccine while 11 others availed two doses of the vaccine, Radhakrishnan, who inspected the apartments early this morning, said.
He was accompanied by Greater Chennai Corporation Regional Deputy Commissioner Simranjeet, Zonal Health Officer Dr. Usha, Zonal officer Sukumar and others.
Six children aged between 1 to 10 years and diagnosed with fever and some of them being asymptomatic have been advised home isolation, he told PTI. While 17 of the infected people have been advised of home isolation, five have been admitted to a Covid Care Centre while one person has been hospitalized. Among the infected, some had comorbid conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
During the inspection, it was found that the apartment security personnel were not vaccinated. Officials erected barricades in the area. Following a complaint by a resident that only the garbage of infected persons was being removed, Radhakrishnan directed the civic officials to put in place a dedicated garbage disposal plan.
After the emergence of two major clusters in the metro, Radhakrishnan directed the district Collectors and Commissioner of GCC to take up effective micro-containment and also intensify the campaign on masks and be strict on enforcement in crowded places.
"Of late we are having cluster cases. We were witnesses to a few clusters in Chennai. Effective cluster control has been done by Chennai Corporation.
One was a festival cluster and another a gated community," he said in the communication. Like Chennai and neighboring districts of Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur, virus cases in Thanjavur and delta districts and Coimbatore and surrounding areas are also not coming down further after relaxations, he said.
On Thursday, Tamil Nadu reported 1,942 fresh covid cases, with the bulk of them coming from Coimbatore and Erode in the western parts, besides Chennai.