Chennai: On Saturday, the corona figures for Tamil Nadu were grim as usual. There were 118 deaths due to COVID-19, taking the total number of fatalities to 4808. New infections stood at 5883.
But the figures hide the quiet progress made in Tamil Nadu in reining in the coronavirus in Tamil Nadu, Chenai in partincular.
The virus is still spreading: Chennai had 986 new cases and 20 deaths on Saturday while the adjoining districts reported high numbers as well – Chengalpattu 425 with 8 deaths, Kanchipuram 284 with 4 deaths and Thiruvallur 391 with 6 deaths. Other districts with high rates of new cases were Theni 452, Thoothukudi 247 and Virudhunagar 246.
However, Chennai Corporation commissioner G Prakash drew attentio to the recovery rate, which is 87.5 per cent now.
The coronavirus positivity rate was riding high at 15 per cent two months ago, fuelled by vigorous clusters from places like the Koyambedu market. Presently the rate is down to 8.5 per cent, and the Chennai Corporation is hoping to bring it down to 6 per cent this month and subsequently to 5 per cent.
Thee were 1,000 containment zones in Chenai at one point. That has come down to 24 now.
Even the death rate had been brought down to 2.1 per cent and would soon be reduced to 1.5 per cent, Prakash said. Hospitals are no longer waiting for COVID test results to admit people suffering from breathlessness. This has brought down fatalities.
The doubling trend, which was five days in the initial stages of the pandemic, was brought down to 64 days last month and 72 days now, he said.
Of the 17,500 beds in covid care centres only 3,300 were occupied and the rest were vacant. Prakash said the present norms like wearing of face masks, social distancing and washing of hands would have to be followed for another three or four months to wipe out the virus.
Restrictions on e-passes have been relaxed for two categories of applications – one work related for all and two for allowing guest workers to return, he said.
Chief minister Edappadi K Palanaiswamy told the media in Salem that doctors and nurses who died after picking up infections while treating coronavirus patients would be paid a compensation of Rs 50 lakh as promised by him earlier. The central government had agreed to provide for the money through insurance, he said, replying to a question....