Corpn to set up care centre-cum-night shelter for homeless
In a move to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among residents in the night shelters run by the Greater Chennai Corporation, the civic body has decided to set up an exclusive COVID care centre cum night shelter in the city.
According to Chennai Corporation sources, several residents in the night shelters were infected and most of them have recovered. "Apart from this, we have identified as many as 15 homeless persons on the city streets with COVID-19 infection. We are doing regular rounds across the city to find and test homeless persons," a source said.
An official added that the civic body has four rescue vehicles and members of NGOs operating the night shelters are doing regular rounds across the city. For the past one month, the rescue teams have been equipped with thermal guns and other devices to identify the homeless persons with symptoms.
"The COVID care centre for the homeless persons is under proposal stage and once the management gives its nod, work will be started. On the other hand, several homeless persons are refusing to come to night shelters. We have counsellors to convince them," the official added.
Meanwhile, the civic body had sent as many as 76 homeless persons staying in the Corporation night shelters during the lockdown period to their native places. Several stranded persons were provided shelter at the night shelter and they were also sent home. During March, there were as many as 2,915 homeless persons in the night shelters. As on date, night shelters house 1,586 persons.
In 2018, the civic body had conducted a survey on homeless persons and had identified more than 9,000 such persons. In order to ascertain the number of homeless persons again, the civic body is mulling to conduct such a survey next year after the pandemic situation subsides.
Meanwhile, the number of containment zones in the city increased from 274 on Wednesday to 283 on Thursday. Kodambakkam alone has as many as 124 containment zones and Anna Nagar has 52 containment zones.