Tamil Nadu crosses 200,000 active Covid cases
Tamil Nadu’s active cases breached the 200,000 mark on Sunday with detention of 30,580 new cases. Health authorities, however, said the rate of transmission was showing signs of reducing.
On January 1, Tamil Nadu had 8,340 active cases and it took only 12 days for the number of people carrying the virus to cross the one-lakh mark on January 13. And it has taken another 10 days for the state to cross the 200,000 mark.
The highest caseload among Tamil Nadu’s 38 districts is from Chennai. However, the daily number of cases has been reducing in the capital city which reported 6,383 on Sunday.
“Chennai saw almost 9,000 cases and the infection’s spread was rapid and increasing rapidly. But in the last two days we are seeing a decrease similar to the pattern in other major cities across the country,” health minister M Subramanian told reporters.
Chennai’s positivity rate has also fallen to 23.6% with districts of Coimbatore and Chengalpattu overtaking in this figure of 26.6% and 25.5%. Chennai’s test positivity rate had surged from 3.3% on January 1 to twice the state’s average in a week’s time. On January 23, Tamil Nadu’s average test positivity rate was 19.8%.
Experts warn that the state administration now has to focus on districts where cases are likely to increase, especially since people travelled back to their native towns and villages during the long Pongal weekend from January 14 to 17.
“Mask compliance has gone down in Tamil Nadu and it’s especially poor in the districts,” said Dr Prabhdeep Kaur, deputy director, National Institute of Epidemiology. “We know with Omicron how rapid the transmission is so the state will have to insist on Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.”
Last Thursday, the state health minister had said that out of 129,000 hamlets in Tamil Nadu, 24,199 had positive cases. He however said that there was no reason to panic as the state has 1.92 lakh beds earmarked and roughly around 9000 were occupied. Health authorities attributed to few fatalities and non-severity of the illness to vaccinations.
From January 1 up to January 15, out of the 191 patients who died 131 were either not vaccinated or were partially vaccinated, according to the directorate of public health.
Meanwhile, the state conducted its 19th mass vaccination camp on Sunday across 50,000 sites. As of Sunday, 9.04 crore people have been vaccinated across all age categories.