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‘Numbers may rise, but don’t panic’
With the number of persons testing positive for coronavirus infection staying alarmingly high in the last few days, J Radhakrishnan, the special nodal officer for COVID-19 control in Chennai, said the number of cases would go up for the next week.
This, he added, was due to the aggressive sample testing done in the city. Attributing the surge recorded in the city in the recent days to the efforts by the Corporation to trace and test suspected cases, Radhakrishnan said there was no need to panic over the numbers.
Pointing out that more than 50 positive cases were reported from VR Pillai Street in Triplicane, which, they suspect, spread from a volunteer, he said: “Volunteers and home delivery agents should come forward to test themselves at least once in 10 days.
This will control the spread of the virus.” Radhakrishnan added that the civic body was taking steps to test employees of hotels, traders and workers in markets.
On Sunday morning, after conducting an inspection in Royapuram zone, one of the worst-hit zones in the city, Radhakrishnan observed that even in containment areas, several residents were not using masks. He urged them to use the masks when venturing out. “The public should support the government in containing the disease by wearing masks and following social distancing,” he said.
City gets volunteers even from Bangladesh
Meanwhile, an official from the Greater Chennai Corporation said that more than 10,000 volunteers have registered themselves with the civic body to assist the officials in the effort to contain the spread of the virus. “But, we have not utilised the services of the registered volunteers.
NGOs and volunteers distributing food are not registered with us, they are doing out of their own interest,” the official added.
Interestingly, of the more than 10,000 volunteers registered with the civic body, 3,000 are from other districts and states. As the registration was made online, some from Bangladesh have also registered as volunteers to work in Chennai. “All the registered volunteers need not take tests; only those distributing food or other relief materials should undergo tests,” the official said.
A day after a vegetable vendor at Tiruvanmiyur market tested positive for COVID-19, the Greater Chennai Corporation sealed the market on Sunday.
According to a senior official with the Chennai Corporation, the entire market has been closed down as a preventive measure to control the spread of the virus in the locality. “After the outbreak, we had shifted half the number of shops in the market to Mada Streets of Marundeeswarar Temple.
Shops that were functioning inside the market and on the Mada Streets will be shut temporarily,” the official said. A vendor from Indira Nagar tested positive on Saturday, prompting the civic body to collect samples from vendors and other workers in the market.
There are more than 100 shops in the market. The official said the market would be reopened in two to three days if the test results confirm that there is no spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, several shops inside the Koyambedu Wholesale Market have been closed after more than 100 persons contracted the infection from the market. The Corporation officials attached to Madhavaram zone had also evicted unauthorised flower shops on CMDA truck terminal main road and GNT Road.