Chennai residents purchasing paracetamol and antibiotics to be tracked

Move aims to curb self-treatment of COVID-19 at home; non-compliant pharmacies will be penalised

Following cases of “self-treatment” at home for COVID-19, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has directed all pharmacies in the city to send daily details of residents who purchase paracetamol and antibiotics.

The civic agency is taking measures to facilitate the isolation of such patients and admit them in COVID-19 Care Centres, if required. According to a Corporation official, pharmacies that fail to send details will be penalised. The phone number and name of the residents should be e-mailed to the civic agency by the pharmacy on the day of purchase of the medicine. Corporation officials will call such residents over the phone, fix appointments and send teams for testing at their doorsteps.

Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said the instructions had been issued to treat potential COVID-19 patients at an early stage. Currently, as many as 17,226 COVID-19 patients are in home quarantine in the 15 zones of the city. While 1,114 beds in COVID-19 Care Centres are occupied, 7,453 beds are vacant.

Officials will also conduct tele-counselling with patients in home quarantine and identify those suffering from fever for more than five days. These patients will be taken to care centres or other tertiary-care hospitals.

Deaths at home

Mr. Bedi said while the number of cases had reduced in the city, he had ordered officials to analyse each case to prevent deaths at home.

Officials led by Deputy Commissioner Alby John Varghese have analysed deaths at home on a case-by-case basis during the pandemic in areas such as Valasaravakkam, Nerkundram and Ramapuram, and ordered staff to intensify surveillance to prevent such deaths.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Corporation conducted 447 fever camps in which 26,298 people were screened and 1,162 were sent for testing. The civic body increased the number of COVID-19 vaccinations on Friday with 34,094 residents taking the jab.

A total of 20.87 lakh residents have been vaccinated. While 15.5 lakh have received the first dose, 5.8 lakh have received the second.

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