Apart from Chennai, the districts of Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur have also been witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks.
Both districts account for over 1,000 infections each, and the uptick in their case counts is primarily due to their proximity and links to Chennai.
As of Saturday, Chengalpattu had a total of 1,719 cases. It is second only to Chennai when it comes to fatalities, having reported 14 deaths so far (one patient died after turning negative), according to a bulletin issued by the Health Department.
“Zone VIII, which is in the Chennai Police Commissionerate limits, extends up to Vandalur. Nearly 90% of the cases are from there,” an official said.
An analysis of cases reported in the last five days showed that two-thirds of index cases were persons travelling from Chengalpattu to Chennai for work. The secondary cases were in local areas, the official said. Amid the spike in infections, officials have begun actively searching for cases. “We are conducting 25 camps every day to identify persons with symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI),” an official said.
“We are now going to extend containment areas. For instance, if there are five positive cases in a single household, we will extend the containment area to 15 households. If it is a house in an apartment, the whole apartment will be brought under a containment area and monitored,” another official said.
In Tiruvallur, officials said a few places on the Tiruvallur-Chennai border were areas of concern. They specifically pointed to Avadi Corporation, Tiruverkadu Municipality, Villivakkam and Poonamallee blocks. As of Saturday, the district had a total of 1,274 cases.
“We have health teams to screen people coming here from Chennai. Their details are noted and follow-up action is taken if they have symptoms. Camps are being regularly held to identify persons with ILI,” an official said.
“All asymptomatic positive patients are admitted to COVID-19 Care Centres,” he said.