After the discharge of 3,464 people and 25 deaths, TN now has 54,315 active cases. The case tally is 9,54,948 and the toll 12,970. Hotspot Chennai reported 2,564 cases in the 24 hours till Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday’s 2,482 cases crossed the highest number (2,393), reported on June 30, 2020.
The doubling time for cases, 1,323 days on February 23, dropped to 98 days on Wednesday. The average test positivity rate (TPR) – positive cases out of every 100 people tested – was a little more than 6%.
“Epidemiological indicators show cases are likely to increase further,” said health secretary J Radhakrishnan on a day the state tested 96,513 – the highest ever.
The spread in tier 2 cities and rural areas is worrying. On Wednesday, Nagapattinam, with 157 positive cases, had a TPR of nearly 10%, followed by Tuticorin (244 cases) with 9%. In Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Tirupur, Tiruvallur and Chengalpet, TPR was between 7% and 8%. There are 262 labs, including 69 in the government sector where tests are free. Though TN, on an average, tests 2,35,740 people per million compared to 1,87,831per million in India, testing in 17 TN districts is below the national average. Nagapattinam is at the rock bottom with 1,14,039 tests per million followed by 1,19,518 in Krishnagiri.
On Wednesday, all districts were asked to send samples drawn from at least 20 contacts of all positive cases and anyone reporting symptoms to the nearest government or private labs. The private labs will be refunded up to Rs 800 per test.
Directorate of public health data shows that until Tuesday, 8,473 of 1.2 lakh habitations had active cases. Of these, 282 were under micro-containment as they had more than three cases each. In urban areas, 12,650 of the 1.2 lakh streets had active cases – 1,461 had more than three cases each. Director of public health Dr T S Selvavinayagam said people should step out of homes only when necessary. “When you must go out for work or otherwise, wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Those eligible for the vaccine should take it.”
On Wednesday, Chennai and neighbouring Chengalpet reported 772 cases. Together with Tiruvallur (383) and Kancheepuram (124), the Chennai region had nearly 50% of TN’s new cases. It had 28,843 active cases including 20,144 in Chennai. Of the 25 deaths reported in the state, 13 were from the region. Coimbatore reported 540 cases topping the west. Tirupur
(225), Trichy (216), Madurai
(199), Tirunelveli (193), Cuddalore (175), Salem (175), Thanjavur (158), Krishnagiri (156), Erode (153), Vellore (113), Dindigul (112) and Tiruvarur (108) reported three digit increase.