Chennai Buzz: Decline in containment zones | Nine lions test COVID positive | Civic body to loan oximeters…and more

Weekly recap of important news from your city.

COVID: Government mulls phased unlock, sero-survey to be conducted

Following the two-week strict lockdown to bring down the COVID spread, the state government mulls over phased unlock. The number of cases in the city has almost halved in this time, with the measures working to control the spread.

Data from the civic body shows that there is an active reduction in the number of containment zones in Chennai in just a week. A street is marked as a containment zone if it has more than 10 active COVID cases. On May 31st, there were 365 containment zones whereas, on May 24th, 765 streets were declared as containment zones. 

Data also shows that Zones 1 to 5 recorded a 58% dip in the number of containment areas while zones 6 to 10 witnessed a 56% dip and zones 11 to 15 recorded a 34.7% dip.

The civic body plans to undertake a sero-survey in a fortnight and is in the process of designating a research body to carry out the survey. The survey will help ascertain the extent to which the second wave has spread in the city.

It is to be noted that three such sero-surveys were conducted when the first wave occurred last year which were done with the support of the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) and State’s Public Health department.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

Read more: Supporting COVID patients in isolation: Chennai apartment sets example

GCC loans oximeters

Pulse oximeter. Pic: Stefan Bellini/CC

The Greater Chennai Corporation has started an initiative to loan out oximeters to COVID home-quarantined patients who are aged 50 and above. People hailing from low-income families will be the main beneficiaries as they may not possess the device that can help track oxygen saturation levels.

Many corporate companies have extended their support to the civic body through corporate social responsibility initiatives. Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Commissioner of GCC, has directed the companies to acquire oximeters in bulk to execute this initiative. 

Oximeters will be loaned for 10 days and it will be sanitised before it goes to another patient. 

Source: The Hindu

Read more: How and when to use oxygen cylinders and other equipment for COVID patients at home

Lioness dies of COVID at Vandalur Zoo

In a first in the state, a lioness at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, died of suspected COVID on June 3rd. Noting signs of illness in the lioness, the zoo managers suspected COVID-19 and sent the swab samples to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases. The results confirmed the lioness was positive. The lioness reportedly was asymptomatic except for some nasal discharge on the day before her death.

Following this, five more lions in the zoo began exhibiting symptoms like loss of appetite and occasional coughing on May 26th. Samples from these lions were also sent for COVID-19 test. A statement from the zoo further confirmed that nine lions have tested positive in all, including the deceased lioness. 

The zoo was out of bounds for visitors when the lockdown was imposed last year. It remains unknown how exactly the lion contracted the virus despite COVID-19 safety precautions in place.

Source: The Times of India | The News Minute

Metrowater begins desilting sewer pipes

In a bid to prevent sewage-related issues, the Chennai MetroWater Supply and Sewage Board (CMWSSB) has initiated a mega desilting activity across the city. As the city is under lockdown, the agency has expedited the activity on arterial and bus route roads, cleaning up the sewer pipelines and removing blocks in the pipes. 

Such clean-up activities generally have to be carried out during the night when there is reduced vehicular traffic. However, with lockdown in place now, the work may be undertaken during the day as well on arterial roads like Anna Salai, Cathedral Road and Poonamallee High Road. The agency plans to clean up sewer networks in 34,764 streets in the city during the lockdown. Along with it, they will also clean pipelines running for 507 km in bus route roads and 4,808 km in non-bus route roads across the city.

It is to be noted that Chennai generates around 540 MLD sewage which is collected and treated through the sewer network. The agency is also carrying out replacement of damaged parts of pipelines along with the cleaning activity. 

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]

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