The Greater Chennai Corporation has found that 1% of conservancy workers, who were visiting residential neighbourhoods, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Now, it has launched initiatives to contain the spread of the virus from Corporation workers to residents. In addition to the 220 conservancy workers among the 22,000 in the city, the civic body also identified 375 civic staff, including assistant health officers, assistant engineers, revenue officers and others among those who tested positive.
The Corporation has now decided to send home workers who fail to wear masks and gloves at work.
“We will not pay wages to workers who do not wear masks at work on any particular day. The workers should not spread the disease,” Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said.
All workers of the Corporation get food, transportation and PPE kits for free during the pandemic. This is expected to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the city, officials said.
“As many as 120 workers have recovered. Unfortunately, some of the front line workers have lost their lives. We sent a proposal for compensation of ₹50 lakh for such workers. Their families will be compensated properly,” Mr. Prakash said.
About 3,500 people with influenza-like illness were being identified everyday.
The civic body has posted doctors in each of the 200 wards for COVID-19 containment. They will get support from nurses and technicians in each ward. Tests have been increased by 150% in the city, officials said.
Conservancy workers have been directed to request the 4.39 lakh residents under 14-day quarantine to collect biomedical waste generated in yellow bags.
The waste will be transported to Manali for incineration, reducing it to 2% of the original weight.
The Corporation will commission mobile incineration units in 10 days for safe disposal of PPE kits, masks and biomedical waste from those in quarantine. “The virus will be destroyed as the waste is incinerated at 1100 degree Celsius. Safe disposal is needed to prevent the spread,” Mr. Prakash said.
The Corporation has asked corporates to contribute CSR funds for mobile incineration units. They also issued orders to 1,500 banks to suspend non-essential services for three months to prevent crowding.
On Sunday, the city registered case fatality rate of 1.6% with zones such as Tiruvottiyur, Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar and Teynampet registering high rates. As many as 17,989 active cases have been reported in the city.