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Monday, June 14, 2021

Covid-19: Active caseload drops below 2-lakh mark in Tamil Nadu

High testing cited as one of the reasons behind the fall while Chennai’s TPR falls below 5%.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
June 11, 2021 1:57:55 pm
Koyambedu market, Chennai, COVID-19A health worker collects swab sample from a labourer for COVID-19 test, at Koyambedu Vegetable Market in Chennai. (PTI Photo)

The number of active Covid-19 positive cases in Tamil Nadu has come down below two lakh on Thursday. More importantly, the number of daily fresh cases too declined in the state and has now come down to 16,813.

Similarly, there has been a significant drop in the number of positive cases in Chennai as well. The capital city, which had been reporting over 7,000 infections daily a month ago, reported 1,223 cases on Thursday and now has 12,210 active cases.

The test positivity rate (TPR) also came down below five per cent, the first time since March. A total of 32,168 samples were tested on Thursday and 1,223 cases were reported.

On May 19, 6,297 cases were reported in Chennai. In the next 10 days, the cases reduced to 2,705 and on June 9, 1,345 cases were reported in the city.

On May 29, 30,720 samples were tested and 2,705 cases were reported positive, taking the rate to above eight per cent. Despite the increase in the rate, the corporation’s decision to increase tests is cited as one of the reasons behind the fall in cases.

Setting up fever camps, ramping up the sample tests, introduction of car ambulances, door-to-door screening for those aged below 60 years, deploying close to 300 doctors for tele-consultation for those in home quarantine, supplying free medicine kits to those who take the swab test at testing centres are some of many steps the Civic Body took to break the Covid-19 chain.

The civic body deployed IAS officers as nodal officers in each of the 15 zones to monitor the Covid-19 preventive initiatives. Now, the Corporation is planning to expand the enforcement team which was set up in collaboration with the Chennai police.

There were 15 teams earlier, now it has been extended to 45 to monitor and take stringent action against those who violate the Covid-19 guidelines.

The corporation took every measure to plug the gaps leading to the spread.

Following reports about people indulging in self-medication by buying drugs from stores and avoiding visiting a healthcare centre with fever symptoms, the civic body asked all the pharmacies to share the details of anyone buying paracetamol or Azithromycin.

Further, Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi instructed all the private labs to notify them of the details of all persons undergoing CT. In a communiqué, Bedi said that a few laboratories are taking CT without RT-PCR test and not notifying the same to the corporation.

Experts say that the civic body should continue to increase vaccination coverage, monitor the test positivity rate, and ensure the guidelines are followed.

Dr. Kolandaisamy, the former public health director of Tamil Nadu, told IndianExpress.com, that the dip in cases is a welcoming sign, but we shouldn’t let the guard down.

“After a gap, there are more discharges than positive cases, after a gap of 10 days, the admission will also reduce in hospitals, this is a positive sign. The TPR has come down in the past few days as an effect of the lockdown measures. Ideally, the drop in cases should be due to measures like wearing masks, hand-washing facilities in every vicinity, improvement in ventilation facilities in closed and contained spaces, and immunization. Once the lockdown is released, and if closed and contained spaces are provided, it will lead to a new cluster. We shouldn’t lose the benefit we earned in all these weeks. Government should not provide relaxation to anything other than non-essential activities. Restriction on mass gatherings should continue to be in place. Malls, theatres, textile showrooms, which do not have the facility to provide enough ventilation and space cannot be allowed to function. And, epicentres should be focused more on providing vaccinations because the spread is basically radiating from these areas” he said.

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