The curious case of Tondiarpet: From a COVID hotspot to a bright spot

Switch on any news channel or go to any social media feed – the only thing that is bombarded at us is the daily rise in number of COVID cases. “Tamil Nadu records highest number of cases in single day”, “Chennai sees spike in cases”, “Death toll in Chennai touches 888”, these are the headlines thrown at us for our consumption.

However, amidst the gloomy picture painted, there exist several bright spots that not many wish to focus on. The recovery rate of the city has risen to 59.27% and the active cases percentage is just 40.73% of the overall figures.

Tondiarpet and Royapuram considered as the COVID hotspots and the worst affected zones now have just 27% and 28% active cases respectively.

Thanks to the micro planning and containment strategies of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and team, the number of recovered patients in zones of Chennai has been on a steady rise.

Of particular interest is the Tondiarpet Zone IV in which 72% of the patients (as of July 2, 9:00 AM) who tested positive have recovered. This zone has one of the highest recovery rates in India and the R factor, which is the effective reproductive capacity of the virus has come down below the threshold of 1.

The Tamil Nadu government has stuck to the mantra of 5 Ts (Trace, Track, Test, Treat and Tech). The State COVID control room on an average receives 2000 calls per day and has so far received more than 1.47 lakh calls. Door-to-door surveys are being done on a daily basis to monitor the health of all the residents in an area and fever camps have been arranged for people with symptoms to get tested. An Indian Express article quoted a Corporation health official say that 6.39 lakh people were checked at 9790 camps till June 29. Of them, 26,266 were identified having Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) and swab samples of 22,371 of them were collected.

While an average of 1000 samples were collected across the camps put up in the city, the Tondiarpet and Royapuram areas collected 10,000.

On June 30, in the Tondiarpet zone, 15 key market places were identified and team of 16 health officials went on a door-to-door testing spree. Samples from 550 businessmen, vendors and shopowners, were taken and sent to the Kings Institute for testing. The Tondiarpet zone has a 2,200 strong field team.

Apart from this, the Tondiarpet zone has 5 treatment centres have been commissioned in the Tondiarpet zone, of which the one at Ambedkar College is a Siddha based COVID care facility. The centre has the capacity to treat 224 patients with provisions for high quality satthvic food, herbal bath and Yoga. Testing would be done 3 times – One during the time of admission, and the 2 other times after the 7th day and 14th day.

Minister Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan who is responsible for the zone has been able to coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders which have yielded results. Experts have noted that the recovery rate signals that the spread is under control.

As of July 2 (9:00 AM), the number of recovered cases in Chennai has far surpassed the active cases with 36,826 recovered patients and 22,777 active patients.



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