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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Mandaveli MRTS Station is containment Zone

Corona – Covid – containment are names heard daily by people ! .. .. Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the country, lot many jargons pertaining to dreaded virus are being coined too – ‘covidiots’ !

The sharp spike in number of confirmed cases across states have prompted the authorities to now identify containment zones in districts in order to contain the spread of the virus.  According to the Health Ministry, a containment zone refers to a specific geographical area where positive cases of coronavirus are found. Strict movement restrictions are put in place in such areas to prevent further spread of the virus. These zones are created to map the local transmission of the disease and prevent the contagion from spreading. They are identified by by the Rapid Response Team (RRT) based on the extent of cases listed and mapped by them.

In our neighbourhood State, civic officials in Greater Hyderabad are nonplussed by the sudden spike in coronavirus numbers in the city in the last few days, with Monday alone producing 79 cases. Sources in the civic authority of the city say the flareup could be due the shrinkage of containment zones and the resultant mingling of people as a result of that. According to highly placed sources in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), there have been troubling signs for over a week that Covid-19 cases were poised to grow in the city. From May 5 to May 10, as many as 100 cases were registered in the Greater Hyderabad limits. On May 11, seven persons tested positive in that locality alone and the number of cases in the Charminar zone (Ziaguda 27 cases) was even more alarming. The officials said going by the dangerous trend, GHMC will ask the state government to restore containment clusters to prevent a wider spread. “We are hopeful that a rise in temperature in the latter part of May will minimise the spread," one official said.

Tamil Nadu became the third state in India to record 7,000 coronavirus cases. As many as 669 people tested positive for the deadly virus in last 24 hours. With the biggest surge in daily COVID-19 count, the total number of cases in the state jumped to 7,204. Chennai alone registered 3,839 coronavirus case, according to the state bulletin. The Koyambedu market in North Chennai emerged as the latest hotsport of COVID-19. Nearly 2,000 cases were linked to Chennai's famous market. The state government assured on Sunday that situation in Koyambedu market hostspot was under control. The state government attributed the 'aggressive testing' behind the sudden spurt in the number of cases. Over 2 lakh samples were tested so far, highest in the country. Maharashtra, the worst affected state in coronavirus pandemic with 22,000 cases, conducted 2,16,416 samples till Friday.

Parakkum rail (not the full path though !)  ~  Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System,  is a  unique  elevated railway  running  a distance of  19.34 km (12.02 mi) with 18 stations, from Beach to Velachery. Life has moved a long way albeit slow pace from the plans in 1983 to the inauguration in Nov 1995 whence train ran from Beach to Chepauk – then extended to Thirumayilai in 1997.   Till 2004, when it was extended to Thiruvanmiyur, the patronage was abysmally poor due to various factors mainly the positioning of the stations, not easily accessible. People have been looking forward to the extentionto  St Thomas Mount thereby getting linked to the existing Beach Tambaram EMU line.   The Mass Rapid Transit system (Parakkum rail) is not exactly overcrowded. The trains unlike their initial years when they were running empty are getting filled up at Velachery station itself in the peak hours, though the maximum of commuters board at Thiruvanmiyur. 

From the time of lockdown, these trains too are not running and naturally, there has been no activity in these railway stations.  Today newspaper reports suggest that the Corporation has made Mandaveli MRTS (mass rapid transit system) railway station a containment zone after five police personnel who stayed at the station tested positive. This is the first instance of a railway station becoming a containment zone in the city.

Health department officials of the city corporation said a police head constable who stayed on the first floor of the station tested positive and four other personnel who had come in contact with him have contracted the infection. Corporation sources said as many as 40 personnel were staying at and around the MRTS station and samples will be collected from them.

While the five have been moved to a government hospital for treatment, the station is now under containment since May 7 (Thursday), which will continue for 28 days. If the lockdown is relieved by May 17 and public transport services begin to operate, the station is most likely to be not be operated, according to officials. The station falls under Teynampet zone (zone 9), which has the fourth highest number of cases in the city, among the 15 zones. The top three are Royapuram (zone 5, 676 cases), Kodambakkam (zone 10, 630 cases) and Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar (zone 6, 556 cases).  Zone-level staff said the first instance of surge in cases in the zone was when a volunteer distributed food and refreshments to uniformed personnel and pubic in containment zones. V R Pillai Street, where the volunteer resides, has over 80 positive cases, officials said.

Apart from Mandaveli MRTS station, areas which have come under containment in the zone in the past week are Namachivayapuram, Jayalakshmipuram in Nungambakkam, Kabali Thottam in Mylapore, Nochi Nagar, CID quarters and Mansion Site police quarters.

Hope that Covid is contained and the Nation gets back to normalcy sooner

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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