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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Appreciating efforts of officials in fighting Covid - story of success in Venkatrangam St, Triplicane

First many thanks and appreciations to Times of India on a positive news and thanks to the Chennai Corporation Officials, Triplicane Police officials, TN Govt, Health Dept and everyone involved in containing Covid 19.

The name “Triplicane”  pronounced Tiruvallikeni by natural laws of linguistics, was crudely rolled and twisted out of shape by the English tongue as Triplicane.  It is a place where religion, nationalistic fervour, patriotism, sports, education and the individual dignity have interspersed for the benefit of the State and the larger interests of the Nation.   A peep in to the past – history is imperative to understand the pristine glory of this puranic place. The  present  day territorial limits of the city existed in the shape of scattered villages  for centuries  before  the advent of the British. In the process of  growth,  many villages got agglomerated into a single unit. Thiruvallikkeni existed even before the birth of the modern day Madras.

thousands of devotees on Garuda Sevai day

Of the many roads in Triplicane is ‘Venkatrangam Street’ a more than 1 km stretch – narrowing at places to a small lane, starting from near Gosha Hospital in Pycrofts Road (Barathi Salai) cutting across Besant Road and extending till Lighthouse railway station behind QMC.

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) on Monday announced a new containment strategy for Covid-19 hotspots in the city, especially in Tondiarpet and Royapuram zones.  According to the new strategy, wards in these zones which have high number of cases will now have perimeter control akin to the earlier containment street model. GCC commissioner G Prakash said more number of young and energetic police constables would be deployed at these perimeters to restrict movement of people from and to these cluster areas. This would bring about a drop in the number of cases in these two zones in two weeks, he said. "This will ensure that cases don't spill outside and hence we can control and defuse the situation," he said.

This strategy has already been tried out in ward 173 of Adyar zone (13), ward 114 of Teynampet zone (9) and currently underway in ward 115 of the same zone, Prakash said.  The second intervention that GCC will bring in now is to shift vulnerable sections of the population, like those with comorbidities, in these hotspots to safe quarantine centres like schools and community halls for 10 days. "This will help us break the chain," Prakash said adding that good toilet facilities and food have been arranged. A total fine of Rs 50-55 lakh has been collected from people, who were not wearing masks in public. "It is not our endeavour to collect fines. We just want them to have some fear," Prakash said. “Currently, we are collecting Rs 100 as fine,” he said.

Daily we read about Covid 19 and its effect.  The numbers are rising and Tamil Nadu is already no. 2 in the list with the city contributing to that in a big way. Again in the city, our Zone was one of the top Red zones which were causes of concern all the time. The start of last month was a crude shock to the residents of Triplicane as some residents of VR Pillai Street were found positive one after the other as corporation officials discovered that two men who both tested positive had distributed tea, coffee and snacks to many of them. News paper reports stated that a  single street in Triplicane has recorded 42 COVID-19 cases in the city. Residents of VR Pillai Street were found positive one after the other as corporation officials discovered that two men who both tested positive had distributed tea, coffee and snacks to many of them. The two primary cases, suspected to be the source of infection in the street, are aged 35 and 49 and are also residents of VR Pillai Street. The two men were related to each other and together distributed beverages and food despite a corporation order to refrain from distributing cooked food.

The city had a total of 231 containment zones as on that date and  including VR Pillai Street which falls under the Teynampet zone of the city corporation. The street was put  under containment from April 27, 2020. The concerns were to increase as more people tested positive and the numbers rose steadily, touching 75 and later 88 – a cause of major concern becoming a cluster.  

The great news now is that Venkatrangam Pillai Street, which at the start of May became a major cluster, and having cases upto 88 became covid-free.  Times of India Chennai edition reports that the 1.2 km long street under containment since Apr 27 was unlocked on May 25 after no case was reported for 14 days.
All 88 patients have recovered and have been discharged said Teynampet Zonal Officer J Ravikumar. He is quoted as saying that they maintained 24X7 vigil in containment area and a 3 tier check to restrict movement.  Jt Commissioner of Police says that they ensured temporary toilet facilities too. As on Sunday Teynampet has only 10 streets under the containment against the 201 in the city.  

Thanks to Times of India for publishing this positive note highlighting with a caption – ‘from 88 cases to 0 : Triplicane Street – a model !’.  Appreciate the tireless efforts of Corporation Officials, Police Officials (Triplicane D3)  (and Mylapore DC Mr Deshmukh Sekar Sanjay); Health dept officials including the Minister for Health Dr C Vijaya Baskar and Dr J Radhakrishnan – it was a well coordinated effort fructifying and providing relief to all residents.

Though improper to finish this way – as the print edition reached the residents of Triplicane, an apartment on the other side of Venkatrangam Street has been closed and marked containment zone.  Hopefully, there would be no spread and the affected person too recovers and returns sooner.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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