Chennai Buzz: New symptoms on COVID watchlist | Impact-based weather forecast | Flood-free monsoon expected

Latest updates on the COVID-19 front in the city and news of other developments during the week that went by.

COVID-19: Two-day quarantine for international travellers with negative certification; four symptoms to watch out for

Chennai recorded 1,187 fresh COVID cases, 837 recoveries and 25 deaths on August 14th, according to the health bulletin. The number of recoveries crossed one lakh on August 14th in the city. 

Infographic summary of COVID-19 cases in Chennai. Graphic: GCC/Twitter

International travellers who hold a negative COVID test certificate will be subjected to two-day institutional quarantine upon arrival at Chennai. Whereas passengers without certification will be in seven-day quarantine and would be tested twice — upon arrival and on the seventh day of quarantine before they can exit the quarantine facility.

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has decided to phase out COVID Care Centres (CCC) facilities in educational institutions. Of the 12,000 beds in such facilities, less than 20% of the beds are occupied. GCC Commissioner G Prakash stated that the downward trend has been observed for 35 days. The CCCs at Anna University, Anna Adarsh College for Women and Quaid-e- Millath Government College for Women have already been closed.

In addition to fever, cold and sore throat, GCC has added four more symptoms — headache, lack of smell/taste, body pain and vomiting — to its COVID symptoms watchlist. People exhibiting these symptoms will be subjected to testing immediately.

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express | The Hindu

Impact-based weather forecast for accurate prediction

Impact-based weather forecast has been introduced at the Meteorological Department in Chennai for accurate prediction. The completely developed service will be launched during the northeast monsoon. With the collection of more data, the impact on sensitive areas due to weathe- related calamities will be predicted. The department will work with the Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS) for the project to estimate flooding in particular areas. 

According to the officials, 25-30 additional automatic rain gauge (ARG) networks are also being set-up to replace the old ones. This will help in predicting sector and location-specific impact.

Source: The Hindu

Ammonium nitrate shipped to Hyderabad

Thirty-seven containers storing 740 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored by the Customs department in Manali was moved to Hyderabad last week. It was bought by a company that supplies the explosive substance to quarries and coal mines.

In another development, a safety audit conducted by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board at Madras Fertilizers Limited (MFL) exposed faults in its operation. The audit further revealed that the company has been functioning without sufficient monitoring system that includes ammonia sensors. 

The audit report noted that deteriorated buildings with leaky pipelines and elevated platforms can lead to accidents. A Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) study has been recommended to assess the plant operating system that can deteriorate when a maintenance schedule is missed.

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express

Flood-free monsoon in Chennai?

As the newly-built storm water drains (SWD) are reportedly functioning well, the civic authorities predict that the city would have a flood-free northeast monsoon. Officials state that they received just three complaints of water-logging when it rained in the past few weeks. An official noted that several areas in Chennai did not face water stagnation during the rains. The storm water drain network built in low-lying areas such as Alandur, Perungudi and Velachery is capacitated to hold nearly 70 mm rain per hour. The SWD was designed in the flood-prone areas with recommendations from international funding agencies.

Source: The Hindu

Dynamic lighting system on bridges and subways

GCC tested the dynamic lighting system on Napier Bridge and TTK Road Bridge last week.  Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that the lighting system would be installed on all 37 bridges and subways in two months. 

Source: The Hindu

Pallavaram flyover nearing completion

The construction work of Pallavaram flyover is nearing completion. The Highways Department is awaiting a few rain-free days to black-top the 1.53-km flyover and widen it. It is to be noted that the work has been on since the past four years. Officials stated that the flyover will be studied after the inauguration. Traffic diversion measures will be in place until then.

Source: The Hindu

(Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar)

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