Care and chaos
THE WEEK|June 28, 2020
Care and chaos
Chennai will face another intense lockdown from June 19. But that alone will not contain the spread of Covid-19

AARTHI RAVIKUMAR (name changed), 46, a staff nurse at the Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital, Omandurar Estate, Chennai, is physically and mentally tired. She is currently on a seven-day home quarantine, after having nursed Covid-19 patients for a fortnight. She had become used to seeing at least four deaths a day at the designated Covid-19 facility. “It is a horrible experience,” she said. But Aarthi consoles herself saying that she could save a Covid-19 patient with diabetes, with her timely intervention.

Nursing has become an ordeal these days. “Taking care of patients has always been my love. But my experience in these three months was terrible,” she said. The Omandurar Estate hospital, where she works, has two towers and 14 floors with more than 400 beds for Covid-19 patients. The hospital is one of the biggest government facilities in the state for Covid-19 patients.

Tamil Nadu has more than 46,000 Covid-19 cases; 73 per cent of them are from Chennai and majority are active. As per data available from the Greater Chennai Corporation, 15,385 people in Chennai are still under treatment for Covid-19, and at least 5,000 of them are in-home care (as on June 15).

“The numbers strike a fear,” said Parthasarathy Ranganathan, 56, a resident of West Mambalam in Chennai. “Recently, more than 50 shops in my locality were closed. My neighbour said that a shop owner tested positive for Covid-19. I used to shop from most of the shops which have been closed. I feel no precaution can save Chennai anymore.”

On June 15, the state government announced that Chennai and the neighbouring districts of Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu will have an intense lockdown from June 19.


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June 28, 2020