Chennai ropes in 1,000 volunteers to assist COVID patients, ramps up testing

During a review meeting on Sunday, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said tele-counselling centres will be set up in all 15 zones of the city, 1,000 oxygen concentrators will be kept on standby and 21 more testing centres will be opened to ramp up testing

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The Chennai Municipal Corporation has employed a slew of initiatives including roping in 1,000 volunteers to provide food and medicines to those in home quarantine, setting up tele-counselling centres and ramping up testing to 25,000-30,000 per day, to tackle the worsening COVID situation.

At 136 cases, Tamil Nadu comes after Maharashtra (460), Delhi (351) and Gujarat (136) in reporting the most number of Omicron infections in the country.

Stating that the third of the pandemic has already begun in Tamil Nadu, Health Minister Ma Subramanian during a review meeting on Sunday said that five volunteers will be assigned per ward in all 200 wards of the city.

“Apart from providing services at their doorstep, they will also watch for violations of COVID-19 norms,” he said.


The government has also decided to set up tele-counselling centres in all the 15 zones of the city, besides keeping 1,000 oxygen concentrators on standby and setting up 21 additional testing centres.

This apart, 20 additional car ambulances will be deployed to transport COVID patients.

While COVID care hospitals have been asked to expand their bed capacity, two enforcement teams would be assigned per zone to enforce COVID protocols including the wearing of masks and social distancing and penalize violators, Subramanian said.

In line with central government rules, the state government has advised home quarantine for doubly vaccinated individuals who get infected again. People with symptoms would be admitted to COVID-19 Care Centres while only with serious health issues would be hospitalized, he said.