As Covid-19 cases rise in Chennai, GCC revises testing strategy; sets up 904-bed Covid care facility at Trade Centre

With Chennai reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Tamil Nadu government, along with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), has revised its strategies and ramped up facilities to combat the spread of the infection.

According to the GCC, the Chennai Trade Center in Nandambakkam is to be converted into a Covid Care Center with over 900 beds. On Tuesday night, Chief Minister MK Stalin, along with GCC Commissioner Gangandeep Singh Bedi and other officials, inspected the facility.

The facility will have 11kg of oxygen storage, and of the 904 beds, 504 will be oxygen.

Tamil Nadu reported 2,731 cases Tuesday, bringing the number to 27,55,587. Nine more people died of the infection, the number rose to 36,805.

Five districts made up the majority of new cases. The strongest increase was recorded in Chennai (1,489), followed by Chengalpet (290), Tiruvallur (147), Coimbatore (120) and Vellore (105).

Bedi said the number of Covid-19 cases in the city has increased due to the Omicron variant. He said that all commercial establishments, hostels, banks, restaurants, government and private offices and other places where it is often crowded should have samples taken every 15 days for testing. Bedi also appealed to the public to wear face masks and follow Covid-19 protocols.

“The number of cases is increasing rapidly. The Greater Chennai Corporation took it very seriously and we are proactively trying to anticipate what additional infrastructure will be required. The company has four or five strategies. We have set up a home triaging system. People shouldn’t compromise on masking. You should also get vaccinated, ”said Bedi.

Meanwhile, state health minister Ma Subramanian said screening centers offering counseling for Covid patients on Tuesday have been set up in 22 locations across Chennai. “There are currently sixteen screening centers in operation … A medical team has been set up at each of the centers to advise people who can be reached by phone,” he said.

Covid care centers in the city have been informed to increase their bed capacity, the minister said, adding that two enforcement teams for each zone would severely punish violations of the pandemic rules. In addition, 20 more ambulances would be made available to transport Covid patients.

Previously, Chennai Corporation hired 1,000 volunteers to provide food and medicine to people in quarantine at home, will set up teleconsultation centers and increase daily testing from 25,000 to 30,000.

“There are five volunteers for each station. A total of 1,000 volunteers are used for 200 stations. In addition to providing services on the doorstep, they will also watch out for violations of Covid-19 norms, “Subramanian said after taking stock of the Omicron situation on Sunday.

The total number of reported cases of the latest variant of coronavirus in the state is 121, of which 20 are active, with 98 people being laid off in the last 24 hours.

With inputs from PTI

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