Shocking: 277 Covid-19 patients go missing, police launch hunt

The city police have traced 90 of the 277 COVID-19 patients whose whereabouts the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) was not able to ascertain.

Most of the missing cases are from the Pulianthope and Washermenpet areas. When the GCC took stock of the COVID-19 cases in the city, including those in home quarantine, private and government hospitals and COVID-19 Care Centres, the numbers did not tally.

As per the prescribed protocol, details of a person testing positive for the virus at a city lab are sent to the directorate of public health (DPH), which sends them to Greater Chennai Corporation. The civic body begins tracing the patients based on the contact number and the address provided.

In case of the missing 277 people, all efforts at tracing them seemed to be futile initially. “Even after a field survey, these patients could not be traced. It could be either because the patients gave the incomplete or wrong address and wrong phone number.

After all efforts, if we are unable to trace them, we will file a FIR (first information report) with the concerned police station. It is an ongoing process. We will somehow trace them,” said corporation commissioner G Prakash.

Efforts are on to identify the remaining. “It is a tough task. The lab staff should ensure that Aadhaar card and address proof of the person coming for testing is collected,” said a police officer.