COVID-19 peak likely by May-end, say Chennai officials, releases new guidelines for patients, suspects

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Chennai: The Chennai authorities quoted estimates and said that the second wave of COVID-19 is expected to reach its peak by mid-May or May end.

The capital of Tamil Nadu is nearing 4,000 daily coronavirus cases while the state is witnessing over 12,000 cases. 

Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash told the media that over the next 30 days when the cases would further increase, the major tasks at hand are field preventive measures and patient management.

He added that unless it was an emergency or severe case, infected persons need not rush to hospitals or medical colleges. In Emergency cases, dialing ‘108’ to avail the Government ambulance service for immediate hospitalization is advised. The civic body chief also shared the following set of guidelines for those who suspect COVID-19 and also for those who have already tested positive. 

For Covid-19 suspects: 

Inform the door-to-door screening/survey staff about symptoms and they will guide to the nearest Fever Camp (can go by own vehicle)

Perform health check at fever camp and proceed to COVID-19 sample collection centre for testing (can go by own vehicle)

For Covid-19 positive patients: 

Isolate yourself and visit the nearest Covid-19 screening center (there are 12 in Chennai city) and get checked for severity of disease (Can go by own vehicle or Corporation vehicle)

Based on the Blood profile, CT Scan, Pulse oximeter reading Home quarantine, Covid-19 care facility (large non-hospital facilities where beds are laid out and doctors monitor regularly) or hospital will be suggested. 

Prakash said that this method of screening and segregation was being done to ensure that severe and emergency cases get the hospital beds and best quality care, in order to save lives and minimize damage. Allaying fears about Covid-19 and its severity, he said that upto 85% of the patients testing positive in the city had no major symptoms and did not have to rush to the hospital. 

“Of the nearly 3700 daily new cases in Chennai, only 1200 persons were visiting screening centers to check for the severity of infection, the others are visiting hospitals. Our aim is to ensure that at least half of those testing positive visit screening centers rather than rushing to hospitals. This can help avoid the unfortunate situation that is prevailing in other big cities” he appealed. 

Prakash also emphasized how the relevant authorities had instructed Private hospitals in the city to allocate 50% of their beds for Covid-19 patients and admit only those who were infected severely or in Emergency conditions. Those who approach big hospitals with mild cases will be redirected to Covid-19 care centers or home quarantine, he added. 

Regarding the daily testing in Chennai, it was said that an increase of 5,000 tests is planned from the current 20,000-odd daily tests. As per the current testing, tracking protocols, about 8 immediate contacts including those from home, close colleagues, drivers etc. were being screened, whenever a positive case is detected. 

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