Senior officials and police officers monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) had informed the State government that an “internal restriction” of movement in Chennai city was necessary to break the disease spread cycle. Their inputs were among the factors that eventually led to the Chief Minister announcing a complete lockdown between June 19 and 30 in Chennai and its surroundings.
According to a G.O. issued in this regard by Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam on Tuesday, during a review meeting they said internal restrictions in areas under GCC would help administration to break the disease cycle and focus on early detection of cases.
The detection of cases would be made through fever clinic, focussed testing, effective contact tracing and efficient management of quarantine and containment area, they said and added that it would reduce the spread, as movement would be restricted and help in minimising contacts of cases testing positive.
It was also felt that the number of cases in GCC limits and other urban areas of Tiruvallur, Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram districts were on the increase “due to the large urban population and also the fact that in many zones the houses are located close to each other and the average living space is also small.”
During a video conference meeting with the Chief Secretary on June 12, various District Collectors said the increase in positive cases in recent times was due to a large number of persons coming from Chennai, who were testing positive. “Therefore, they insisted that more restriction of such movements will give them elbow room to control disease spread,” it said.
Following the meeting of public health and medical experts with the Chief Minister, it was felt that an intensified lockdown may have to be considered in the Greater Chennai Police Commissionerate area and certain areas of neighbouring districts to prevent the pace at which the disease was spreading. “This should be supported with more efficient quarantine and containment area management,” the G.O. said.