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Tracking suspected cases at pvt clinics, scan centres pays off
The Greater Chennai Corporation’s strategy to identify suspected COVID cases from private hospitals, clinics, CT scan centres and pharmacies seems to have paid off, with the civic body managing to zero in on dozens of positive cases among them. If left undetected, they could have spread the infection before being tested positive.
According to a Corporation official, details of persons visiting private hospitals and clinics with symptoms similar to COVID are being collected from May 25. Apart from these facilities, details of persons undergoing CT scan and buying medicines for cold and fever are also being collected.
“Based on the details, samples are collected from such persons. If the test results are positive, they are quarantined by following pandemic norms,” the official said.
On June 2, the civic body monitored cases at 525 private hospitals and gathered details of 487 persons with fever from them. Based on their health condition, swabs were taken from 471 persons. Of them, 137 persons were tested positive for the infection.
Similarly, details of 339 persons who had undergone CT scan were collected from private scan centres on June 4. Of them, as many as 227 persons turned out to be COVID positive. “Positive cases are identified from private hospitals, scan centres and pharmacies every day. Final reports will be released soon,” the official said.
Explaining the significance of the strategy of detecting these cases early, Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said even if only four cases were identified per day, the civic body would be able to prevent 40 new infections in the following one week.
A field official said the persons with symptoms were trying to avoid testing by getting over-the-counter medicines or visiting local clinics. “They will spread the virus to others if we do not identify them and put them under quarantine,” he said.
Officials said the civic body has taken measures to identify some patients who provided wrong phone numbers to private hospitals and medical shops to avoid being sent into quarantine.