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Nation Current Affairs 09 May 2020 Don't be afraid ...

Don't be afraid, don't be very afraid of Tamil Nadu's coronavirus numbers

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | D SEKAR & M R VENKATESH
Published May 9, 2020, 8:54 am IST
Updated May 9, 2020, 10:05 am IST
State reports 600 new cases in the past 24 hours and rises to fourth in the corona table of India
A worker sits down for meal at the closed Koyambedu market in Chennai. The market has reported an alarming surge of coronavirus cases in the past week. (PTI)
 A worker sits down for meal at the closed Koyambedu market in Chennai. The market has reported an alarming surge of coronavirus cases in the past week. (PTI)

Chennai: Everywhere else in the country, coronavirus spokesmen are making no secret of the fact that they are spooked by the numbers now. In New Delhi, Lav Agarwal said the people have to learn to live with the virus. In Karnataka, minister Suresh Kumar said “the numbers are not good” before revealing that 48 fresh cases had turned up in the state on Friday

Here in Chennai, the prefatory statement by Tamil Nadu health minister Dr C Vijayabaskar was: "Don't be frightened by the Covid-19 numbers.”

 

And here they are: 600 new Covid-19 positive cases in the past 24 hours, nearly 400 of them from Chennai alone. In the past three days, each new day has brought in 771, 590 and 600 cases, and the total has doubled in five days from 3029 on May 3 to 6009 on May 8.

The southern state is now up to fourth on the coronavirus table in the country, and is clearly revving to move up higher.

Vijayabhaskar was clear what is needed to be done: “It will be sufficient if the public cooperates with the government," he said during his briefing to reporters on the overall situation in Tamil Nadu.

Prior to the presser, he had participated in a video-conference of health ministers with Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, who, like the Tamil Nadu minister, used to be a doctor.

Dr Vijayabhaskar said Dr. Harsh Vardhan appreciated Tamil Nadu's efforts in battling the coronavirus in terms of better treatment, isolation, containment and coordination. Particularly, the state has the lowest mortality rate of 0.68 per cent in the country.

The remarkable thing about Tamil Nadu’s corona surge is that almost 80 per cent of the cases are asymptomatic. Faced with a groundswell of cases that need monitoring, treatment and isolation, the state is advising 'home quarantine' for the milder cases, with constant monitoring of course.

This, the fiat to tell the mild cases to stay at home and take care of themselves, is part of the updated guidelines issued by the government of India.

In Tamil Nadu, such home quarantine patients will be given a 'kit' containing dos and don'ts. This DIY coronavirus kit will have the nostrum Kabasura Kudineer to improve immunity, Zinc Plus, vitamin C, vitamin D tablets, herbal powder, soap, face masks and hand sanitizer.

Tamil Nadu’s sudden spurt in the past three days is an outcome of more vigorous testing, especially in hot spots like the Koyambedu market in Chennai, which has contributed 1,589 cases, or roughly 26.50 per cent, to the total corona cases of 6,009 in Tamil Nadu.

This is because of the intense, 'tracking, tracing and testing' of people associated with the 'primary persons' who tested positive in Koyembedu.

Vijayabhaskar claimed: "We are testing more people per day than even Maharashtra."

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