33 Covid cases in Kancheepuram industries, district on alert: collector

Topics Coronavirus | Chennai | Lockdown

Besides, at least 20 officials are regularly inspecting various companies during the working hours and intercepting and inspecting tranport vehicles to make sure that the social distancing and other norms are adhered to
Amid reports of Covid-19 positive cases in some industrial units in the automobile and manufacturing hubs near Chennai, the Kancheepuram district administration has said it is taking all precautions to ensure safety of the workers. The district has reported 33 Covid-19 positive cases from industrial units so far, from of which were from six companies, the administration said without revealing the names of the units. 

With the State government allowing industries to work with limited manpower from May 6 onwards, the district has allowed 656 units to function. Since the government has allowed 50 per cent of the workforce in these factories, around 202,000 workers can work out of a total 413,000 in these units. 

There are over 1,000 units in the district, many of which are small scale units that don't need specific permission to resume. It may be noted that Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), one of the facilities in Kancheepuram, announced that there were three Covid-19 positive cases it its factory and that it has taken measures to contain the spread of the infection.

"We are taking all precautions to avoid any incidents of Covid-19 reported from the factories. There are only 33 cases reported out of the 202,000 workers," said P Ponniah, collector of Kancheepuram District. After identifying the positive cases, the administration conducted contact tracing and isolated all those who have got in contact with the patients and put them on home quarantine. 
Commenting on reports that 42 cases were reported in Nokia's telecom equipment manufacturing facility near Chennai, he said that the number include workers from other districts working in the particular company and the factory has been disinifected and works has resumed already.

Mobilising the workers was a challenge and the administration has given permission to transport the workers from distant places and there are daily transportation using passes. The workers are screened using thermal screening at the entry point of each factory and taking care of those who are identified with some symptoms. The healthcare team from the District Administration visits these persons, collect swab and if they are found positive, they will be shifted immediately to the hospitals.

If a new case is identified, the area will be isolated and sanitised for a few days, contact tracing will be conducted by the health team of the district administration and tests will be conducted to their family and secondary contacts too. The administration has also conducted meetings with the industries and almost five days back asked them to share the thermal reading of each worker on a daily basis to the Collector's office through email, which will be monitored by the health team. While the industry was struggling to arrange testing for those who came in contact with the Covid-19 patients, the administration has also taken the responsibility of testing them, he added.

Besides, at least 20 officials are regularly inspecting various companies during the working hours and intercepting and inspecting tranport vehicles to make sure that the social distancing and other norms are adhered to. This will be the routine for the administration in the upcoming months, he added. Tests are being conducted to whoever who shows symptom in daily screening and those who were in contact with them are also put on qurantine. 

Tamil Nadu touched a new high in respect of the number of persons infected with Coronavirus with as many as 817 tested positive over the past 24 hours. The state capital Chennai with its high density of population continued to see highest number of infections at 548 taking the total tally to 12,203. The number of infected children in the age group 0-12 went up to 1,122.


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