Chennai ED office turns into COVID-19 cluster; 19 officers test positive

The entire office premises at Nungambakkam has been closed

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At a time when the Tamil Nadu government and the state health department are fighting hard to contain the surge of novel coronavirus cases, yet another office cluster has emerged in Chennai. At least 19 officers, including senior officials and staff members, at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Nungambakkam have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Eighteen officers who tested positive have been sent for home quarantine, while one senior officer has been hospitalised. Following this, the office premises has been closed and disinfected. The zonal office has a total of 65 staff members.

According to highly placed sources in the health department and ED, those who have tested positive include one additional director, one joint director, four assistant directors, four assistant enforcement officers and 10 subordinate staff including drivers.

The officials went for swab test on Wednesday and Thursday after a few of them showed symptoms. Despite the pandemic, the Chennai ED office was working in full capacity. Sources in the ED say there were instructions from Delhi to work in full strength.

After 19 officers tested positive, the rest of the staff have been instructed to go for testing and isolate themselves. Sources say that the contact tracing has started. 

It may be recalled that DMK MP Jegathratchagan was grilled by the ED officials for more than eight hours in a case related to property purchase on Thursday.