Covid-19: 5 stupid things Chennai did

Chennai recorded 203 cases on Sunday, 266 on Monday. Why? It may be due to ...

Not decentralizing the Koyambedu market

The market management committee made the decision to change the market to Thirumazhisai on Monday. Experts say this could have been done sooner, since the end of March the television media and newspapers carried images and photos of large crowds on the market. Just as the Thiruvanmiyur market was divided into two or three, the same could have been done for the Koyambedu market to ensure that crowds did not accumulate in one place. Huge spaces like the bus terminal or the subway stations could have been used to house different vendors. In the absence of such measures, physical distancing was a shock that contributed to the spread of the virus. Social activist Jayaram Venkatesan said government officials should have predicted that Koyambedu could become an entry point for the spread of the virus from the start and that retailers should have been banned from the start. Retired IAS official M G Devasahayam said the impromptu announcement of the Center's closure contributed to the chaos. As people ran out of essentials, they rushed to the market and officials couldn't better control them, he said. This meant that officials had no idea what kind of people were coming to the market.

Front line not given , not tested

Employees associations of have time and again pointed out how the ground level health workers and conservancy workers were not provided with personal protective equipment (PPEs) like masks and gloves. “We have made several representations to the corporation commissioner. There is fear among the frontline workers of contracting the virus,” said Babu Manikraj, president of a corporation employees union affiliated to the DMK. In fact, the corporation’s first press release about distribution of PPEs to workers was only issued a week ago. An assistant engineer of the corporation in Thiruvottiyur has also tested positive for Covid-19. He was working in containment zones in the area and contracted the infection, an official said. Even police personnel on the frontline of hospitals which received suspected Covid-19 patients were also not given PPEs in the early days.

Lock inside the lock

The Tamil Nadu government announced an intensified blockade from April 26 to 29 during which the Koyambedu market was allowed to function as it was. During this period, people resorted to panic shopping on April 25. Due to this, many retail stores ran out of essentials, forcing the public to rush into the Koyambedu wholesale market. Thousands of people visited the market without paying attention to the rules of social distancing, and many also avoided the masks. Many residents and observers criticized this as an unnecessary event that created panic. In many stores across the city, there were large crowds the day before the full blockade went into effect. In fact, some supermarkets have also tested positive in the city.

do not go by check

Greater has recruited several volunteers to help deliver essential products in containment areas, more than 200 of which are currently in Chennai. However, the civic corps did not test them before using their services. This has resulted in about 40 residents of a single street in Triplicane testing positive for the infection spread through a volunteer, a corporation official said. Following this, Special Officer J Radhakrishnan said Sunday that the volunteers would be regularly screened and that they had implemented a timeline for them.

Don't tell people about positive cases in your neighborhood

Despite the spread of the disease in the city, Greater Chennai Corporation remains semi-transparent when it comes to the dissemination of vital information, leading to panic among citizens. For example, corporation officials who raised awareness through posters and through social media and television to inform people that an employee at the Phoenix Mall in Velachery tested positive, made no effort regarding other cases. Furthermore, it was only a week ago that information about the containment areas was released to the public. Before that, people were completely unaware of what it was. Retired IAS official Devasahayam said government authorities should have educated people about it, but did not. Because of this, fear in the early days was replaced by anger among people. Even now, many of the corporation's staff members are concerned about their health, as they feel they might have contracted the disease, as they continue to visit homes in surveys. Currently, with cases increasing every day, officials are unable to deliver the message that it is due to increased evidence.