From the past few weeks, Chennai Corporation has been identifying and testing persons showing virus symptoms at the containment zones.
Containment zones are areas around 7 km radius of the residence of a virus-positive case.
Listed below is the process of sample collection as explained by a Chennai Corporation official attached to the Teynampet zone (zone 9).
In Mylapore, there are containment zones at San Thome High Road, South Trustpakkam Street, Mandaveli Street, Appu Street, Nochikuppam, and Meenambalpuram. The procedure is common for all these containment zones.
At every containment zone, close contacts (family members), extended contacts of the virus-positive person, and people showing virus symptoms (cough, fever, breathlessness) or symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) are identified for testing.
They are then mobilised to sample collection kiosk at Triplicane using a disinfected Corporation vehicle. At a time, 7 to 10 people are taken in this van. All are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing while travelling.
From Mylapore, it takes around 5-10 minutes to reach kiosk located at Triplicane UPHC (Urban Primary Health Centre), near Vivekananda House on Kamarajar Salai.
After reaching the kiosk, people without masks are given masks. Prior to sample collection, they are given a registration number. Their details like name, mobile number, symptoms are noted in a form.
Then, one by one they are sent to the booth for sample collection. Inside the booth, the person will be seated on a chair, and a technician takes his/ her nasal or throat swab. The sample is then preserved in a container.
From the collection centre, the samples are sent to government hospitals for testing. The results arrive in two or three days.
The test result is then intimated to respective persons via phone message.
The chair at the booth is disinfected after every sample collection. The entire sample collection process takes just five minutes.
After lifting the samples, these persons are dropped to their houses through the same van. This van is also disinfected after every trip.
To avoid any virus spread, persons who came for giving samples are asked to take a bath immediately after reaching home.
At the end of each day, the list of persons who gave samples is sent to the zonal officer. If some persons identified for testing have not given their samples, we counsel and request them with the help of doctors to go for sample collection.
Photo used here is for visual representation only.